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[Well-curated] Lego art, Picasso ceramics and premium single malts

By Hwang Joo-young, Park Yuna, Kim Da-sol

Published : Oct. 20, 2023 - 09:01

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"Honyomuhee" by Lego artist Colin Jin (Baek Seol Gi Books)

Korean heritage built with Lego

A special Lego exhibition titled "HEstorical Lego" is underway on the second floor of Moryham in Myeong-dong, central Seoul.

Themed around Korea's traditional cultural heritage, mostly from the Joseon era (1392-1910), the “HEstorical Lego” exhibition comprises a total of 42 Lego works by Colin Jin. The 49-year-old artist introduces himself as a "Lego Maker" on his Instagram profile.

"Jongnyo Jeryeak" by Lego artist Colin Jin (Baek Seol Gi Books)

The highlight of the exhibition is “Jongmyo Jeryeak,” a reinterpretion of a Joseon-era (1392-1910) royal rite for deceased monarchs. The Lego version of the rite features a total of 48 courtiers and a set of traditional royal instruments.

What sets the self-proclaimed Lego artist’s works apart is the way he depicts a subject through Lego blocks. Rather than simply arranging ready-made Lego products, he assembles each Lego piece to portray people, attire and animals. By doing so, the artist leaves a simple yet elaborate and magnificent impression.

"Cheongryongjichi" by Lego artist Colin Jin (Baek Seol Gi Books)

At times, Colin Jin is inspired by everyday tools. In celebration of the upcoming year 2024, dubbed the year of blue dragon, he transformed a stapler into the head of a blue dragon by covering it with blue Lego bricks.

“Toys prove their worth when they extend children’s creativity to the fullest. For me, Lego was the case,” the artist explained.

"Hakmu" (left) and "Hakchum" by Lego artist Colin Jin (Baek Seol Gi Books)

The “HEstorical Lego” exhibition runs through Oct. 25. Admission is free. Moryham is open every day from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.

An installation view of An installation view of "MMCA Collection Picasso Ceramics" at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province (MMCA)

Picasso ceramics at MMCA Cheongju

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province offers a rare opportunity to view some 100 ceramic pieces created by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) selected from the Lee Kun-hee collection donated to the museum in 2021.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death this year, the exhibition “MMCA Collection Picasso Ceramics” is organized around themes including women, mythology, faces and bullfighting.

Picasso first encountered ceramics in 1906 when he met the Spanish potter Paco Francisco Durrio (1868–1940). In 1929, his curiosity about ceramics led him to collaborate with the ceramicist Jean Van Dongen (1883–1970). He began to work with ceramics in earnest in 1946 when he visited the Madoura pottery workshop in the Mediterranean city of Vallauris while on vacation.

Picasso freely adapted his favorite subjects into ceramics, whether they be women and animals, mythology and bullfighting or people and faces. Running through Jan. 4, 2024, the exhibition traces Picasso’s wide-ranging ceramic works, which bloomed in the southern French city of Vallauris in 1946.

Those who want to learn about the Lee Kun-hee collection can visit “Visible Storage: MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection 3” located on the second floor of MMCA Cheongju, running through Dec. 3.

The Macallan Double Cask pop-up

The Macallan Double Cask Experience store in Gangnam-gu, Seoul (D&P Spirits) The Macallan Double Cask Experience store in Gangnam-gu, Seoul (D&P Spirits)

The crisp autumn breeze pairs perfectly well with the slightly bitter, fruity taste of The Macallan Double Cask collection, one of Korea’s favorite premium single malt Scotch whiskys.

The Macallan is holding a pop-up store called “The Macallan Double Cask Experience 2023” in the Garosugil neighborhood of Seoul's Gangnam district through Oct. 28, a rare chance for whiskey lovers to participate in tasting classes and experience the brand.

Over three floors, detailed information on The Macallan’s historic distilleries and whisky lineups are exhibited. On the first floor, visitors can take a look at The Macallan’s distilleries in Scotland via a virtual reality screen. The tasting program takes place on the second floor, where the participants can enjoy finger food such as salmon tartar, brie and cookie choux paired with The Macallan. The standing bar on the third floor welcomes visitors with free tasting of its flagship The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, 15 Years Old and 18 Years Old, as well as whisky cocktails. Visitors must purchase their drinks here, which are priced at 20,000 won per glass.

The pop-up store opens every day from 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and from 12:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. during the weekend. Anyone can visit the store but only those who made reservations online can participate in the tasting class program. There is no entrance fee.