If looking for the art in you, consider checking ArtinusArtinus, which has a gallery in its basement and a lovely cafe with a patio on the ground floor, fits perfectly into Hongdae’s arts scene. This elegant art bookstore was designed by the architect Choi Si-young and is a popular hangout for art, architecture and graphic-design students.
The store stocks more than 5,000 books and 500 magazines, most dealing with art, design, architecture, fashion and photography. A special section includes English-language books, mostly cookbooks and travel guides.
Beyond the usual best-sellers, Artinus offers a surprising variety of publications. The selection is as diverse and sophisticated as the contemporary art journal “Paquett” to a full collection of art and pop-culture books by Taschen ranging from 20,000 won ($16) to 60,000 won.
A separate counter displays coffee-table books, catalogs from distant museums and volumes about artists, such as the “Andy Warhol Idea Book.” These make great gifts.
The second floor has an outdoor sculpture garden, a shop selling imported stationery items, such as leather-bound journals, accessories and hand-made paper, and a music store that stocks 15,000 CDs and DVDs. Traditional craft works by Korean artists are also on display.
Gallery Artinus, located in the basement of the bookstore, mostly exhibits works by emerging design artists and illustrators. A notable exhibition from last year included the drawings by the cartoonist Heejung Park. Works from the previous exhibitions can be found in the store’s on-line archive at www.artinus.co.kr.
by Park Soo-mee
To get to Artinus take exit No. 6 at the Hongik University subway station. Follow the small alley across from the main gate next to the park. The store is on your left.
Phone: (02) 326-2326
Hours:10:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday- Saturday; until 8 p.m. Sunday
Location: Hongdae, western Seoul