17 February 2017

Post Seoul

Text: Carolin Blöink

With a mix of photo essays and interviews, the website Post Seoul offers insights into how designers, architects, artists, editors, and curators live and work in the Korean capital of Seoul, what shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants these locals frequent and, above all, how their homes and studios reflect their lifestyles. The site was set up by Newpress, a communications agency founded by Na-Ri Lim and Hae-Mi Woo. In a short interview they revealed how Post Seoul came about, what kind of spaces it features, and which designers are involved in the project.


Which are the fields of work of Newpress?


Na-Ri Lim studied space design and Hae-Mi Woo art history and curation in college. We have both worked as editors at offline magazine companies for seven years. Newpress is a content planning studio that takes care of the whole process from planning, producing to publishing small brochures, catalogues or brand books by commissions from companies and brands along with self-publishing. Post Seoulis one of those projects we carry on.


How did the idea of Post Seoul evolve?


When we look at the people’s ways of living and their lifestyles in a number of cities around the world, such as New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin and such, many of us can get a sense of the general picture, but Seoul, a city which best represents Korea, is only known in a very narrow, limited way to the foreigners’ eyes. So we decided that we’d build Post Seoulto show the world the diverse lives of Seoul’s inhabitants starting with “spaces” which represent lifestyles in the best way. In the beginning we had print media in mind. But in order to deliver our lifestyle fast and most effectively abroad, while also considering the difficulties the magazine market is facing in Korea today and the best way to keep us continue, we agreed to go online. During the two years of preparation, many of the websites we studied and researched have provided us inspirations on how to run and design the site.


Which players are participating in the project?


There’s design studio Practice that takes care of our art direction, Deerstep in charge of the programming of our site, the photographers Hye-Min Kwon, Yoon-Hee Kim, Jin and Seung Na, Char-Yeoung Lee as well as Yoo-Jin Jung. Min-Young Lee is our translator. They are all partners of Post Seoulwhom we work closely with and help maintain our very own colour.


How do you chose the persons (category people) portrayed on the website?


Our initiative goal was to break away from the conventional, standardised images, styles and formats domestic magazines present our lifestyles with. Our thoughts were: Isn’t there a way to show the lifestyle of Seoul in a more natural manner and a younger spirit?, Aren’t there normal people around us, not the ones we always see in magazines, that we could show to people? And starting from these questions, in the beginning, we were able to present people that were less or never casted in medias but were living by their very own ways. Nowadays, we do have people that are pretty known to others but we intend to ask questions and present them in the ways unique to us only. Our purpose is far from talking about what’s hot these days and what the trend is. We try to show how one’s lifestyle is dissolved into one’s space.


How do you chose the locations (category places) portrayed on the website?


The purpose of the places category is to deliver local and hidden spots that are not shown in travel books but those that may interest foreigners by selecting them with our local eye.



Do you want to expand the range of Post Seoul?


Up to now it was more focused on interviews with an individual in his or her space. From the beginning of this year we plan to expand the range by interviewing makers of Seoul. For instance, makers that run an authentic fashion or lifestyle brand or cafés, bookstores, exhibitions with interesting concepts and so on. We’d also like to do a variety of offline events as well. Last year in 2016 we held a small show of our five photographers’ personal works that captured the city of Seoul in their own perspectives, called “Young Seoul by Post Seoul”. We’d like to do more of those fun events that could enable people to feel and acknowledge the Seoul of today. We’re also planning to publish our interviews that have been accumulated during the past year in a book soon.


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