Garosu-gil Road, an artsy area with a unique flair, has emerged as one of the favorite spots in Seoul. Garosugil’s rising fame is largely thanks to the hard work and talents of the area’s artists and designers. We met with the interior designer Kim Hong Gu (who has run a café in the area for the past three years) to discuss the seemingly irresistible charm of Garosugil.
Q: Garosugil seems to attract plenty of designers. Why do you think that is?
A: When I settled here three years ago, there weren’t nearly as many designer shops; Garosugil was pretty much about galleries. Garosugil is relatively less consumer-oriented than other places in Gangnam and it’s a good environment in which designers can work and run a business. It’s an area with a trendy but relaxed atmosphere; it definitely has its own personality.
Q :What was the biggest draw of Garosugil for you personally?
A : At first, I came here because I needed my own workspace. But after exploring the area, I found that it was a really fun and interesting place to be. Every shop seemed to be run by people with different experiences; there were designers, musicians, and even a movie director. To me, each of these different kinds of people adding their own colorful personalities and experiences to the scene is what makes the area so special. Above all, it is not a ‘closed’ street, but an ‘open’ street. It is a community that encourages communication both within the community and with the outside world. I think creativity only comes with open communication.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your café, Café Six O Two?
I opened the pub to provide international visitors with a homier, more comfortable place to come and enjoy a drink with friends. I introduced the British garden pub concept because I like open space just like in Six O Two. Sir Raymond serves all kinds of imported beer.
* Profile of Kim Hong-gu
Kim Hong-gu established Square Studio (furniture design laboratory) and contributed to the restoration of Changdeokgung Palace (the royal palace). He participated in the Fortieth Anniversary of Benetton and works as an art director for the Seoul N Tower. He currently runs Six O Two and Sir Raymond on Garosugil.