Cheongyecheon Festival | through May 13
The Cheongyecheon, marvel of urban renewal projects worldwide, celebrates its very own festival through Sunday. The festival features art installations and performances around the theme of past, present and future. Even if you don’t make it in time for a performance, it’s still a good excuse to meander down the banks and enjoy the festive atmosphere (but maybe not the best time if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful stroll). Tip: The last performances will take place on Saturday from around noon to 7pm. There are lots of entrances to the Cheongyecheon along the Jongno corridor, but we especially like the area near Gwanghwamun Station exit 5 for its views of the city center. Visit here for more information.
New Zealand Wine Festival | Sunday, May 13
Calling all winos: You knew the kiwis had a good sauv blanc, but how about the array of other wines from the land of the long white cloud? Try that and more at the fourth annual New Zealand Wine Festival hosted by the Kiwi Chamber. Besides, there will be a range of New Zealand foods to enjoy. Be forewarned: with over 50 wines to taste, you’ll need to pace yourself (or not). For non-drinkers, there will be NZ sparkling water and juices on-hand as well. Space is limited, so reserve early if you can.
Gucci Exhibition in the Korean Furniture Museum | Through May 12
The Korean Furniture Museum (한국가구박물관) is a museum that eludes even the locals. A multi-hanok complex located in Seongbuk-dong, the private museum is opening up one wing for this exhibition in which Korean heritage meets 91 years of the Gucci archive. Here, curators have set classic Gucci pieces against meticulously crafted Korean furniture. The interplay of these very different works of art, each classic in their own way, gives rise to the exhibition’s motto, “Timeless Touch of Craftsmanship.” Head over soon, because it’s slated to close on Saturday, May 12. Note: If you miss out on this, there’s still hope! We hear the exhibition may be extended. Seonbuk-dong 330-557. Open 2–9 pm on Thursday–Friday and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturday. 20,000 won admission includes tour of the hanok grounds and the Gucci exhibition. Call 02-765-9112 for more info.
Baekje Museum now open
Seoul’s storied history includes 500 years as the Baekje Dynasty capital (until 475 A.D.). Two weeks ago, Baekje once again burst onto the Seoul scene with the opening of the Baekje Museum on the grounds of Olympic Park. In celebration of its opening, free entrance has been granted for its inaugural exhibition, “Baekje’s Elegance: Costume and Ornament,” through September 14. We’re intrigued by the high-tech elements this museum weaves into its experience: For one, there’s a 4D theater. Plus, you can download a self-guided audio tour to your smartphone. Don’t have a smartphone? No problem: Borrow a tablet PC free of charge from the front desk. Beat that, Shilla. Open weekdays 9 a.m.–9 p.m., weekends 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Map here.
World Beat Vinari performance | Through May 13
An energetic performance that blends modern beats with traditional Korean instruments, this is the sort of show that gets its audience yelling along. While certainly not the first performance of its kind, it is one of the most widely traveled such shows, having performed in 53 countries. And even better, the performances at the Namsan Traditional Music Theater are limited to an audience of 80 in an intimate hanok courtyard surrounded by gardens in the shadow of Namsan. Look, it’s even inspired us to poetics. Showtimes 8 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday–Sunday. Namsan Traditional Music Theater is inside the Namsangol Hanok Village Park, Chungmuro Station exits 3 & 4. Tickets are 30,000 won at Interpark and it seems like Korea4Expats has a lead on ticket deals here. View photos.