Last weekend international design guru and Monocle editor-in-chief Tyler Brulé had an interesting column in the FT, listing out 10 things he likes about Korea. There’s some items which you might expect, and also some surprises.
Brulé has rightly waxed lyrical about Incheon Airport before – and coincidentally Incheon has just been awarded the Korea Image Stepping Stone Award. I always find that landing at Incheon is a totally pleasant experience. Brulé suggests that Incheon might want to offer its management expertise to some European airports such as Brussels. In the light of Heathrow’s miserable performance in the pre-Christmas snows the contrast could not be more marked.
Brulé has long been a fan of the type of laid back jazz-pop that comes out of Korea – though maybe Bernie Cho of DFSB Kollective might have had a hand in it. A few years ago he flagged Roller Coaster as a favourite band of his, and now Winterplay (who played at the 2010 Thames Festival) and W&Whale are on his playlist. And on his watch list are Girls’ Generation, though I think that’s more for their video performances than the quality of their music.
Other highlights are savoury pancakes (bindaetteok, 빈대떡), corn tea (oksusu cha, 옥수수 차), the quality of some of Korea’s highbrow magazines (he always seems to load up with magazines wherever he goes), the uniforms of the shop assistants in the department stores, and … a particular brand of face cream. I wonder what it is that persuades an international style guru to go into the cosmetics section of a foreign department store to see what beauty products he should try out… though he does mention the great-looking packaging.
- 옥수수 차: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oksusucha.jpg
- Brulé’s Fast Lane column, The secrets of my Brilliant Korea, 7 January 2011.