Seoul’s young future shapers are forming a more enlightened post-pandemic city
Seven South Korean creatives discuss their predictions, hopes and dreams.
Photography Dasom Han
When the Coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020, the South Korean government was quick to respond with effective testing and tracking methods that kept their number of cases relatively low. Almost a year on, however, and that original success story is fading into a new reality. Now in the middle of winter, the country is again seeing a rise in cases, which means that everyday life for most people continues to be restricted.
To understand how young people living in the country’s capital are adapting, we asked Dasom Han to photograph some of the talents helping to shape the culture there and ask about their lives and how the pandemic has changed the way they see their future.
Yoon, artist management
How do you think your generation will change Korea? Once I asked my mother why she had kids and she answered that it was just a matter of course for married women. It’s not like this for our generation. With the rise of the internet, we question the things that were previously taken for granted. When our generation is older and has more influence, I think the country will be more culturally and creatively awakened.
What do you want the world to look like in 10 years? More respect for different points of view and less discrimination.
Where is your favourite place to visit in Korea? I would say Kyungju, especially in the Summer. The endless green landscape reminds me of All About Lily Chou Chou and you can watch the stars easily because of the low buildings.
How do you feel about the future of Korea? I know many talented people in Korea. Most of my Korean friends are really cute inside and outside and have very warm hearts. I believe the future of Korea will be like this. Strong and gentle at the same time.
Seungmin Lee, designer
How do you feel about the future of Korea? I used to hate being Korean but I don’t deny it anymore. I like Korea now. My hope is that it will develop into a bigger market here with an improved culture. I hope that every Korean artist will have everything they need and want to live well. I believe our future will be better.
How has your life changed with Covid-19? At first I was angry but as it’s gone on I’ve calmed down. You just have to adapt to the situation you’re in. I look forward to travelling to Japan and Berlin when we’re free to fly again.
Jibin, songwriter and performer
What’s been the most exciting thing in your life so far? When I first came to Seoul at 19. It’s exciting to see that my generation isn’t afraid to make Korea a better place.
What's your Hope for 2021? That I can have more physical contact with people and meet some nice colleagues.
Tabber, singer, songwriter, and record producer
Where is your favourite place in Korea? Itaewon. I just love the diversity of people there.
What are you excited about right now? I recently released my first official mixtape and I feel like it’s changing things for me. It’s an exciting time. I hope my music is played in the streets in Korea and reaches more and more people.
What do you want the world to look like in ten years? It feels like the world will have elements of utopia and dystopia in ten years. I hope the world finds a good balance in this regard. I think our generation is up to the challenge.
Doori Kwak , video and content director
Where is your favourite place in Korea and why? I love Jejudo (Jeju Island) because it has the most beautiful beaches in Korea.
How do you feel about the future of Korea? I dream of a positive future. Korean people tend to solve problems and conflicts quickly and adapt to change well. I think my generation knows how to understand and embrace diversity more than those before us, which is necessary for a peaceful world. That said, I’m scared that technology may develop faster than the human brain and change the world before we can decide whether that’s good or bad. Really I just hope for a beautiful world.
What's your Hope for 2021? The end of this pandemic so we don’t have to wear the masks anymore.
What are you excited about at the moment? I’ve been taking photos for four years with my father’s old film camera and developing them myself in a darkroom I made at my place. It’s really become a passion of mine.
How do you feel about the future of Korea? Korean society likes things to move fast and I imagine everything is only going to speed up more in the future. I’m not saying it’s bad but we will have to remember to rest and make time to look back and reflect occasionally.
How do you think your generation will change Korea? Our generation has access to so much information which means we are more and more accepting of diversity and of expressing our opinions more freely. I think this liberation will lead to improvements in the arts too and I believe we’re going to lead many changes across music, photography, painting and all the arts.
What's your Hope for 2021? World Peace, face-to-face interaction and that everybody takes enough time to enjoy themselves.
Photography Dasom Han
Styling Yeyoung Kim
Production Eunhae Seo