Indoor Botanical Garden for a glimpse of spring and festive lanterns on Cheonggye Creek

Seoul Botanic Park greenhouse

If you want a break from city life, Seoul Botanical Park in Gangseo-gu, west of Seoul, offers an emotional refuge with plants from 12 cities around the world and Korean gardens.

From plant-loving visitors to gardening experts, programs are offered to the public to enjoy plant-related education, experience, culture and art.

Botanical Garden is an area of ​​Seoul Botanical Park, consisting of outdoor themed gardens, greenhouse, and Magok Cultural Hall. Although it is the winter cold that prompts many people to start their greenhouse tour, they are quickly rewarded with plants from tropical and Mediterranean countries including Vietnam, Colombia, Spain, Greece and more.

Another must-see is the horticultural center inside the greenhouse, the house of the plant library, the plant science laboratory, the permanent and special exhibition rooms.

Photographs of tulips are on display at Seoul Botanical Park. (Seoul Botanical Park)

A special exhibition, “The Tulip,” features sculptures and photographs of cultivated tulips at Seoul Botanical Park, in hopes of providing the warmth of spring.

Offline programs are also making a comeback, including home gardening and winter gardening with a limited number of people in each program. Online reservations are available and program participants are enrolled on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are priced at 5,000 won, 3,000 won and 2,000 won for adults, teens and children, respectively.

The theme parks and the greenhouse are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. The last admission is at 4 p.m.

Further updates are available on the Seoul Botanical Park website.

Festive lanterns by the downtown stream

“Slow Trees” at the Seoul Lantern Festival 2021 in Jongno-gu, in the center of Seoul (Seoul Lantern Festival)

The 2021 Seoul Lantern Festival lights up Cheonggyecheon Creek in central Seoul with 83 lantern sculptures created with hanji, a traditional paper made from mulberry bark.

The 13th edition of the festival occupies the 700-meter path of the main Cheonggyecheon stream with the theme of “Healing Forest”. The festival begins with “A Secret Door” at the Cheonggye Fountain which leads to the Jangtonggyo Bridge, where the festival ends. The lantern installations glow from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the month of December.

The lantern sculptures include the winners of the Hanji Lantern Design Contest, such as “A Starry Cat” by Jeon So-hee, “A Lovely Forest” by Park Jeong-a and Han Aran, and “Lunar Halo” by Seo Arin. , Heo Jeong -su and Lee Si-an.

The illuminated lantern installations add a warm ambiance to the popular central Seoul trail, inviting people to enjoy the festive holiday vibe. Taking selfies with the beautiful lights as a backdrop is a must at the festival.

If you want to see the lanterns without braving the cold, head to the official Seoul Lantern Festival 2021 website.

90s SoHo New York pop art store in Seoul

“Scharf Schak” pop-art exhibition in Seongsu-dong, east Seoul (Kim Hae-yeon / The Korea Herald)

“Scharf Schak” pop-art exhibition in Seongsu-dong, east Seoul (Kim Hae-yeon / The Korea Herald)

When the pop art aesthetic first approached environmental issues in the United States, bold and playful art appeared on the streets, shocking passers-by – some confused, others excited. to see the new art.

Decades have passed and a brightly colored portable art store called “Scharf Schak” from New York City has come back to life in Seoul.

A solo exhibition featuring the works of LA-based pop artist Kenny Scharf is underway at Baik Art in East Seoul’s Seongsu-dong.

Scharf began his artistic career in New York in the 1970s, with his friends Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquait. In the 1980s, he set up a thatched-roof cabin on the sidewalk between Mercer in New York and Broadway Street, selling his collectibles straight out of his art studio.

A strong supporter of environmental issues, the artist personalizes any type of clothing or commercial item that people drop off, drawing his Scharf-ian cartoon faces and reselling them.

“Toy Ball”, by artist Kenny Scharf, symbolizes Scharf’s childhood memories of a toy ball as well as the earth, which he urges the public to save and protect. (Kim Hae-yeon / The Korea Herald)

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