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[Well-curated] Exorcist lab, outdoor reading and artsy street festival make for rich fall weekend

Sept. 15, 2023 - 09:01 By Kim Da-sol By Hwang Dong-hee By Hwang Joo-young
The “Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman” pop-up store in Seongsu-dong, Seoul (CJENM)

“Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman” pop-up store in Seongsu

A pop-up store for the upcoming comedy flick,“Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman,” in Seongsu-dong, Seoul, is set to entertain visitors ahead of the film’s opening on Sept. 27.

Directed by Kim Seong-sik, “Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman” tells the story of Dr. Cheon (Gang Dong-won), a fake exorcist, and his encounter with a strong demonic possession. Heo Jun-ho, Lee Dong-hwi, Lee Som and Kim Jong-su star in the film.

Presented under the theme of an exorcist's lab, the pop-up store offers various programs for visitors, including making talismans for money, success or love. There are also stamps engraved with handwritten messages from the film's actors wishing for visitors' dreams to come true. Gang Dong-won's message reads, "Your life will be filled with love."

There are other programs like a lucky draw event, a photo zone and a name card DIY zone where visitors can print their own name card as a new character working at the movie's exorcist lab, which is run by Gang.

Visitors can also receive promotional goods for the film, including key rings, fans, incense paper and character photo cards.

The “Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman” pop-up store is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Sept. 24.

People read books at an outdoor library in Gwanghwamun Square, in Seoul, on Sept 3. (Yonhap)

Read a book at an outdoor library

It is said that autumn is the best season for reading books in Korea. The crisp breeze and the clear, blue skies create the perfect backdrop for a reading session. As September rolls in, outdoor libraries across Seoul are reopening after a summer break.

First up is the outdoor library in Gwanghwamun Square, which made its debut in April, attracting over 260,000 visitors over just four months.

Throughout September, the library will host "Romantic Night in Gwanghwamun," which runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and “Wonder Fall Days” in October, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On weekends, Gwanghwamun Square is transformed into a cozy sanctuary with tents and fairy lights. Each week features different programs, including art exhibitions and film screenings.

An outdoor library in Seoul Plaza (Seoul Metropolitan Library)
An outdoor library at Ttukseom Hangang Park (Hangang Outdoor Library)

Meanwhile, the outdoor library in Seoul Plaza runs until November, opening on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Colorful bean bags will be spread across the plaza's grassy lawn.

This week, music in film will be highlighted through jazz and classical performances on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Every Saturday until October, Yeouido Hangang Park and Ttukseom Hangang Park will also transform into a reader's delight.

Visitors can curl up with a book in a bean bag or camping chair in the reading zone, while the play zone offers retro-themed games and activities. In the experience zone, visitors can post a letter to themselves to be received in a year's time, or try their hand at shooting a film. Reading lamps and blankets are available to borrow for free.

Make sure to stay updated on event schedules and closures by visiting the official websites and Instagram pages of the outdoor libraries, especially on rainy days. With an exciting calendar of literary events lined up, Seoul's outdoor libraries are a perfect destination for book lovers this fall.

Artists and art students are drawing on the streets with colored chalk. (The 2023 Seoripul Festival)

The 2023 Seoripul Festival

Prepare to be dazzled at the 2023 Seoripul Festival, which takes place Saturday and Sunday on Banpodaero in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul.

The whole of Banpodaero, a 1-kilometer-long thoroughfare that stretches from Seocho Station to Seocho 3-dong, will be closed to traffic from midnight Friday to 4.a.m. Monday for the annual festival.

The festival kicks off with the "Biggest Sketchbook on Earth" event at 2 p.m., Saturday, where attendees can draw on the streets with colored chalk. Artists and art students will later refine the drawings.

In the evening, neon lights will bring life to those artworks as DJ Hanmin transforms the streets into a stage pumping with electronic dance music.

Comedian Park Myung-soo leads an EDM performance. (The Seoripul Festival)

At 3 p.m., Saturday, some 300 singers from seven choirs are set to perform.

The opening ceremony for the event will take place at 7:30 p.m., Saturday with performances by Foretena and singers Kim Wan-seon and Kim Jong-guk, among others.

At 3 p.m., Sunday, the Seoripul Junior Concert will take to the street with talented young musicians and orchestras.

The Sound of Seocho orchestra performs during the 2019 Seoripul Festival. (The Seoripul Festival)

The festival will reach its climax at 8 p.m., Sunday when the Seocho Philharmonia performs under the baton of conductor Bae Jong-hun.

An exhibition of works by 31 young and emerging artists will be on display along Banpodaero as well.