Seoul Illustration Fair 2017

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My mum is a textile designer, so I grew up with her telling me all about the trade shows she visited around North America and Europe. She always brought back goodies and showed me photos of the impressive booths with all sorts of artwork and designs. I always wanted to join her, but naturally she wasn’t about to drag a kid around her work trips.

I finally had a chance to get the trade show experience this weekend at the 2017 Seoul Illustration Fair. It took place in COEX Hall, a massive exhibition centre with an impressive track record of events and visitors. COEX is located in Gangnam, a swanky neighbourhood in Seoul, is well known to foriegners for PSY’s international kpop hit “Gangnam Style.” Koreans know the neighbourhood as an expensive, upscale area of the capital. With hip cafes, fantastic modern architecture, and unique boutiques, Gangnam is a must-see area of the city.

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Kickin’ it Gangnam Style!

With 600 booths and thousands of works on display, the fair provides a fantastic look into the Korean illustration and art scene. From delicate florals in muted colours to vibrant characters in bold lines, the fair showcased an immense variety and skill.

At only 10,000 won entrance (about 1 USD), the fair was a great opportunity to get some inspiration and pick up a few goodies. I got a couple of beautiful cards for just 1,000 won, or about 1 USD. Here are just a few of the booths we got to see and the artwork they showed!

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Beyond the fair, we had a great time exploring COEX mall. In addition to fancy stores, COEX hosts the massive Starfield Library. With thousands of books and fantastic, organic architecture, and plenty of natural light, the library was a great spot to enjoy a sketch and some writing and the downpour outside.

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