They say you can’t judge a book by its cover but a case can definitely be made for Sangsangmadang. When I first travelled to Seoul 2 years ago, I was caught off guard by this ultra-modern, attention grabbing building. Ever since then, I’ve made an effort to visit this place every time I’m in town. Nestled in what you might call the fresh and modern art district of Hongik University (better known as the abbreviated Hongdae), it serves as the perfect backdrop for Sangsangmadang. I couldn’t think of a more perfect place this building could be situated in the city as it fits right in with the artists, designers and art students that make this neighbourhood their home.
The magnificent and trendy exterior is the perfect cover for the remarkable and cool art content which it houses. If anything, Sangsangmadang can pretty much be said to sum up everything that this neighbourhood stands for – creativity, energetic, forward thinking and fun. The main entrance leads you into the ground floor which is an art square selling crafts and gifts made by designers and artists. At the side, there’s also a small coffee shop with a couple of seats close to the large adorning windows. The ambiance along with the bright and energetic colours make it infectious, making the atmosphere extremely salubrious and refreshing to say the least.
If you take the elevator down to the basement floors, you’ll find a cinema which shows Korean as well as foreign independent films. The Live Hall features performances in the fields of music, dance and theater. Unfortunately for me, my schedule never really did coincide with the showtimes while I was there. But I’m more than sure that I’ll plan my schedule around some of these shows the next time I’m there.
Ascending up to the second floor, you will find an art gallery with ever changing displays of creations by Korea’s contemporary artists. The third floor is dedicated to showing the creations of Korea’s young up and coming artists and are available for sale if you wish to buy. Sangsangmadang is undoubtedly an important staple to the artistic community in the area and Seoul, as they showcase and promote artists from a variety of spectrums.
Here’s the complete listing of each floor at Sangsangmadang:
7F - Office
6F – Cafe 10:00~22:00
5F – Studio / CineLab 10:00~22:00
4F – Academy 13:00~22:00
3F – Art Market 13:00~22:00
2F – Gallery 13:00~22:00
1F – Art Square 12:00~23:00
B1 – 2 – Live Hall
B3 – 4 – Cinema