Boisterous sounds from machinery and the clash of folded steel in Mullae-dong, southwestern Seoul, welcome visitors who pass by the vicinity.
Mullae-dong was once home to steel foundries during the 1970s. Also dubbed as the “place that can make everything,” the area housed around 1,700 iron plants to manufacture South Korea’s components. But the nondescript neighborhood was left empty as factories started to close their doors.
But the emptiness didn’t last long. Many young artists brought their dreams to life in the early 2000s to form an art village by moving over to the once-industrial district where rents are low. Former factories soon transformed into spacious art studios, and the area is now referred to as the Mullae Creative Village.
Narrow alleys full of graffiti, galleries and trendy cafes have replaced old metalwork spaces, infusing fresh ambiance into the district. Unique benches, signboards and installation art pieces sit in contrast with the remnants of old factories.
The former manufacturing core of the area has turned into a place full of splendor, offering analog experiences in recent years. It is also one of the fastest-growing areas in Seoul.
Located at Mullae Station on Subway Line No. 2, the coexistence of the old and new in the area exhibits stylish sensibilities and invites people to experience a newly emerging cultural hub.
Photos by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Park Jun-hee
By Park Jun-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org