Oh Jin-hyuk at Gallery N/A © Oh Jin-hyuk

[INSIDER GUIDE] Oh Jin-hyuk of Gallery N/A Speaks About Unique Seoul
There are many unique places with distinctive charms in the old ironworks alley in Euljiro, downtown Seoul. Among them is Gallery N/A selling coffee and alcohol. Oh Jin-hyuk is the gallery’s owner and director who oversees all of its exhibitions, and he himself is a photographer by trade. We asked him to give us a tour of galleries in Euljiro, hoping he would share his artistic perspective with us. We also asked for a recommendation of his favored places. Now the tour begins from Gallery N/A.
“Euljiro was the center of Seoul before gentrification took over the city. It’s where rundown commercial buildings line the streets and historic mom-and-pop diners serve unsophisticated, yet honest food. It offers us a chance to see some of the scenes truest to Seoul’s identity.”
Oh Jin-hyuk

Art Space Hyeong

Along With N/A, Which Galleries Are Worth Visiting?
I recommend “Sahngup Gallery” presenting a seemingly indifferent, yet carefully curated exhibitions and gallery space; “Jungganjijeom” revealing the process of a sketch transforming into an art; “Art Space HYEONG” boasting a new-concept white cubic space; and lastly, “Euljiro Of” providing an exhibition guide to those who buy a drink there.
∙ Sahngup Gallery 143 Eulji-ro Jung-gu, Seoul
∙ Jungganjijeom 703 Jangyang Building, 15 Eulji-ro 14-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
∙ Art Space HYEONG 302 Ewha Building, 105 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
∙ Euljiro Of 5F, 5-6 Eulji-ro 15-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Your Favorite Restaurant?
Jeil” in Seongsu-dong. It gives you a feeling that you’re dining at an exhibition hall.
∙ Jeil 9-9 Wangsimni-ro 10-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul


Anthracite Coffee Seogyo

Your Favorite Café?
Anthracite Coffee Seogyo” because it is the most quiet café in Seoul.
∙ Anthracite Seogyo 11 Worldcup-ro 12-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Olympic Park

Olympic Park

A Good Place to Unwind?
These days I think you’re allowed to go into the lawn. There are more sculptures than you think at Olympic Park. Pick one you like, lay a mat in front of it, and lie down to rest. You’ll feel your mind and body unwind.
∙ Olympic Park 424 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul


Post Poetics

Post Poetics

Post Poetics

Your Favorite Shop
Post Poetics” has all kinds of books that are good reads. They offer a great selection of books published overseas. I often go to “Irasun,” specializing in books regarding photography. You can check out the ones you like, following a kind guide by the shop owner. The store deals with books from a small publisher in Korea as well as famous publications from overseas. The owner’s kind introduction is a bonus.
∙ Post Poetics 240 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
∙ Irasun 5 Hyoja-ro 7-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Inspiring Places?
Namsan Sowol-gil at 2am in mid-summer. I once lived in Haebangchon for about a year. I was on the way home from a friend’s place. It was on Sowol-gil. Walking along Sowol-gil with the panoramic view of Seoul gives you a lot to think about.
Must-Buy in Seoul?
Discontinued books by famous photographers overseas. Some photograph collections can be found here since people hardly purchase photo books, it seems. (smile)

Ironworks alley in Euljiro

Place Truest to Seoul?
Right here at Euljiro. Euljiro was the center of Seoul before gentrification took over the city. It’s where rundown commercial buildings line the streets and historic mom-and-pop diners serve unsophisticated-yet-honest food.
Oh Jin-hyuk

Gallery N/A © Oh Jin-hyuk

About Insider: Gallery N/A Owner & Photographer, Oh Jin-hyuk
The first thing he said when we asked him for self-introduction is this: “Not much to say.” But from what we’ve witnessed while spending time with him, he has all kinds of responsibilities. Since a year ago he’s been operating Gallery N/A and directing exhibitions, while running a publishing house under the same name, printing photo collections and art brochures. Starting with the solo exhibition of photographer Na In-soo in November 2018, the gallery has offered its venue for works by French artist Mathieu Bernard Martin and fine artist Bae Jae-min. The solo exhibition by fashion photographer Kwak Ki-gon has recently wrapped up. The young owner’s artistic sense has been proven through the unique spatial composition and design of Gallery N/A including the exposed walls showing the age of the structure and a bed (now removed) which used to take the center stage of the exhibition space. However, his main career is that of a photographer. He’s a person who’s keen on keeping with the trends among contemporary artists and uses a camera to record moments that express his feelings. Of all the roles listed above, we chose the owner of Gallery N/A to interview.

Q. Please introduce Gallery N/A.
A. It is located on the second and third floors of a building on the ironworks street near Euljiro 4-ga Station. The second-floor is an exhibition hall, while the third floor functions as a studio and another display room. The terrace has chairs and tables. In addition to exhibitions, the gallery sells coffee and rents out space sometimes. Oh’s small publishing house deals with photo collections and art brochures.
Oh Jin-hyuk

Oh Jin-hyuk

Gallery N/A © Oh Jin-hyuk

Q. What was the motivation to start Gallery N/A?
A. While working at an overseas job, I used to buy books by artists at a gallery or a bookstore, including photo collections. There are not many places like that in Korea, so I started my own. As an owner, I can give myself discounts.

Q. Is there a special reason you’ve settled in Euljiro?
A. The ironworks street where the gallery sits gets quite noisy. People work, and iron gets cut, carved, and attached over and over again. That’s what intrigued me the most.

Q. Do you have criteria for selecting artists for exhibitions?
A. I cannot definitively say what it is, but for sure the idea (about an artist) has to keep bothering me. The artist’s charm is important too.

Q. What’s your ultimate goal with Gallery N/A?
A. Whether it be a photograph or a painting, a piece of art hanging in the living room of houses where people enjoy their meal. I hope people realize an artwork or art book can give you peace of mind.

Q. Any project you personally want to work on?
A. I would like to hold a group exhibition of over 20 artists, with interpretations that do not reflect the artist’s intention.

Gallery N/A © Oh Jin-hyuk

Gallery N/A
Address 2∙3F, 35 Eulji-ro 4-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-10-2563-7499
February 2020 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Cooperation: Lee Donghyuk(Illust)

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