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Seoul Illustration Fair

Dear All,

It's been a long time since I've posted anything on my blog. The reason is such, that I can't upload photos or write when I'm mobile, and everything I publish here has to be done from a stationary computer. I've tried to upload via wix's app, but it just doesn't work :(

Anyway, here are some photos from my journey to Seoul, South Korea.

I stayed in Korea for an entire week, the fair started from 6-10th of July. Everyday I had to stay for 10 hours at my booth, with short bathroom breaks and no lunch breaks. I didn't really have anyone to help me out, since I came to Korea alone (it was a mistake) but my neighbour would sometimes keep an eye on my booth, and vice versa. There were enormous crowds of people everywhere, which is why it was so difficult to leave the booth and rest. There were also hundreds of exhibitors, like me, trying to sell their artworks.

My booth was a bit different from other stands, because I didn't have any stickers or key chains to sell (I didn't know it was such a big thing in Korea!) plus many of the illustrations were cute animals, or anime figures.

This is the video that shows how many people were queuing just to enter the Illustration Fair at the COEX.

Was it worth travelling all the way to Korea? It's hard to say...

On one hand, I have gained a lot of experience when it comes to the Asian market, and I know what the consumers are looking for when they arrive to such art fairs. On the other hand, I had to spend a small fortune just to buy plane tickets, accommodation, and print out new graphics, have them mounted, pay for the booth etc. Not to mention the 14 hour flight from Warsaw to Seoul... and the jet lag.

I don't think I'll return with my artworks to South Korea, because the prices for artworks are cheaper than in Poland and it's simply not a wise business decision to sell art for smaller prices while spending more on everything else. I think I might return to Copenhagen next year, and go back to Art Next Expo in Hong Kong in 2025. We shall see...

The silver lining is that I've gained new fans, followers, met new artists, and have learned about many other art fairs taking place across Asia, such as Unknown Asia in Osaka, Artist's Fair in Kyoto, HCKIS in Seoul, Illustration Fair in Busan, and so on.

I've also managed to visit two beautiful Buddhist temples in Busan, and took the KTX bullet train, which was a actually lot of fun!

The photos I've uploaded depict Yonggungsa Temple in Busan. Definitely worth visiting!

I also took amazing photos of the incredible Beomeosa Temple complex. It was so tranquil there and the views were incredible.

And I visited an amazing Korean teahouse and tried bingsu for the first time in my life (bingsu is a Korean form of icecream, topped with sweet beans, delicious!).

And here are some photos from the Gangnam District, where I've spent most of my time, since I was living there and had a 10 minute walk to the COEX Center.

The road I walked along everyday from my hotel to the COEX.

Ganganm Style monument, dedicated to PSY.

Starfield Library inside the COEX Center.

Overall, it wasn't a bad trip, I had my ups and downs, but it was definitely an adventure.

But to be fair: don't travel alone to South Korea, unless you can speak Korean. Many people there couldn't speak English, and at times the language barrier was so bad, that it could have ended badly for me.

Also, women: BE WARNED. There are hidden cameras in public toilets (yes, in the stalls) so if you travel there, make sure you have a camera detector and some ducktape, to block the view from the mini cameras. They also install hidden cameras in hotel rooms, so it's better to be safe than sorry, and check for them the moment you arrive at your accommodation.


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