A DJ-Designer’s Map of Seoul

  • Photo by Photo by Vivian Lee for Seoulist

    Neonethy in front of her new showroom, Shop Monochrome. Photo by Vivian Lee for Seoulist

  • Photo by Photo by Vivian Lee for Seoulist

    Photo by Vivian Lee for Seoulist

Design by Yaeri Song for SeoulistDJ Neonethy, or Nene for short, is not one to pigeonhole herself. A natural-born creator and explorer, she describes herself as adventurous and curious. What most might find curious is her moniker—a combination of neo, which means new, and nethy, pronounced as “nessie,” an affectionate term for the legendary Loch Ness monster. We met up with the charming creature over still, serene cups of coffee.

At age 20, she left her native Seoul for Tokyo to experience a foreign land. There, she fell upon a “fated encounter” with the DJ scene. Within two years, she signed with Avex Records, the equivalent of Korea’s SM Entertainment.

After pumping up club enthusiasts in Tokyo and pursuing arts in London, she eventually carried her energy back home to Seoul. However, it won’t be easy to hear her live nowadays as she has shifted more of her focus to her unisex fashion label, Monolik. Launched in February 2010, Monolik was originally a personal endeavor merely to create clothes she wanted to wear. (Today she wears an urban oversized black coat that wraps her petite frame. She reveals that 90% of her clothes are black). The concept of making it a business is still an awkward transition, but the glowing response to her line has her preoccupied for each coming season.

We asked Neonethy to draw out places of Seoul that win her over.

Record Store
“I’m a fan of the music selection in Kyobo Bookstore near Gangnam Station. The variety of music that can be found there, both foreign and domestic, is astounding. It’s actually difficult to find big off-line record stores in Korea. Kyobo Bookstore, one of the few, if not only major off-line record store remaining, is where I often went to find new music since high school.”

Live Music
“Until I was living in Japan and the UK, I was informally involved in what was called Dazzling Girls that included another female DJ, dancer, and VJs at Club Answer. I like the curious mix of young and the not-so-young vibe of Club Answer. In general, I find Korean clubbers are more outgoing than their Japanese counterparts.” Club Answer, 125-16 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu (Cheongdam Station, exit 13).

Taking Photos
“I particularly like taking pictures at Mt. Namsan Walkway (남산소원길) near Namsan Tower. You can take the yellow bus up the hill. There is a nice residential neighborhood that looks right out of a movie. Quite fittingly, there’s also the Seoul Animation Center. I walk until I get to Myeongdong Station.” You can catch the bus at Daehan Cinema, Toegyeoro 5-ga, Dongguk University entrance, National Theater of Korea, N Seoul Tower, Namsan Tower, Namsan Library, Mt. Namsan Walkway, Seoul Animation Center and Toegyero 3-ga every 5 to 10 minutes.

Neighborhood
“I like the Han River Park, especially by Jamwon and Banpo. It’s close to where I live. I look forward to spring so I can bike there and to work! I also enjoy picnicking at Hangang Ichon Park, which is north of the river.”

Photo by Vivian Lee for SeoulistShopping
“I’ve liked multi-label store Flow on Garusu-gil before the area became widely popular as it is today. This is where I first came across the Swedish brand, Cheap Monday. I like their skinny jeans as the design is unique and not over the top. The style reminds me of British rock. Since they’ve opened an office in Korea in 2010, I have DJed at their promotion events.” Flow recently moved its original Garosugil store to Cheongdam. You can find Monolik products there. Flow, 84-10 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu. Tel 02-511-4074.

Museum
“My favorite museum is Samsung Leeum Museum, which is not far from where I live. I recently went to see ‘The Court Painters of Joseon Dynasty’ (조선화원대전) exhibit. In England, I was able to readily see works of international artists, so I was ecstatic to find that I could see ancient works of Korean artists in one place—at Leeum. I spent four hours looking at all the paintings. I was most impressed with the painting, Geum Gye Do, by Kim Hong Do.” Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, 747-18, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu. Tel 02-2014-6900. Directions: Hangangjin Station (Line 6), exit 1 or bus no. 11, 0014 to Hangangjin.

Photo by Yaeri Song for SeoulistArchitecture + Design
I like the architectural design of Platoon-Kunsthalle in Nonhyeon-dong. I feel it’s an artistic expression of their drive and progressiveness. They are like a vehicle carrying artwork and events that are wide-ranged, fluid and young. I’d like to apply this very concept to everything I do—the vehicle to carry and express a different medium.” Platoon-Kunsthalle, 97-22, Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu. Tel 02-3447-1191.

Read an Actor’s Map of Seoul and a Vegan’s Map of Seoul.

Vivian Lee

About Vivian Lee

Vivian enjoys the thrill and chase of finding new scenery and happenings the city has to offer. Visit her Tumblr for more.

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