Send to

[Well-curated] Reflect on time through jewelry, postcards and seasonal cuisine

June 14, 2024 - 09:01 By Choi Si-young By Lee Yoon-seo By Kim Da-sol
A Cartier emerald-and-diamond necklace specially made in 1932 (Choi Si-young/The Korea Herald)
A Cartier tiara in platinum and diamonds specially made in 1905 (Choi Si-young/The Korea Herald)

Rethinking gemstones

Precious stones are valued for their beauty, which comes from the intricate patterns and translucency they possess. These gem-quality crystals require an almost infinite amount of time to develop.

“Cartier, Crystallization of Time,” an exhibition at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, is a search for the origin of such timeless beauty, visualized with jewel collections from the French jewelry house and private individuals.

The roughly 300 pieces on view are thematically arranged. Chapter 1 explores Cartier’s famed experiment with materials like platinum and fossilized wood, as well as with bold color mixes.

Chapter 2 looks at how Cartier tries to reflect lines and forms found in nature in its pieces. The exhibition explores how jewelry can be architecture, noting that the pursuit of beauty bears fruit by chance and by venturing into something new, like couture.

Chapter 3 sums up how Cartier stays inspired. “Universal Curiosity,” the last stop, looks at the sources: flora, fauna and cultures.

Orchids as well as panthers, snakes and tigers make up one part of the creativity stimulus, while the rest comes from civilizations spanning the African continent to the Americas.

The May-June exhibition is organized by the DDP operator Seoul Design Foundation for the landmark’s 10th anniversary. This is the second time Cartier has displayed its contemporary creations, after the initial showcase at the National Art Center, Tokyo in 2019.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul

Postcards are put on for sale at POSET (Lee Yoon-seo / The Korea Herald)
Postcards are put on for sale at POSET (Lee Yoon-seo /The Korea Herald)
Lockers at POSET (Lee Yoon-seo / The Korea Herald)

Postcard Library

Explore a diverse array of illustrations by artists at POSET, which dubs itself the nation's first postcard library, where thousands of postcards are put up for art enthusiasts to peruse.

Browse through rows upon rows of postcards, each labeled with the artist who created it, to find one to your liking. Prices typically range from 1,000 won (73 cents) to 5,000 won.

In a section labeled "storage archives," there are lockers that can be used by customers to store items such as letters, diaries, photos, and personal belongings for a set period. These lockers enable customers to preserve personal records for future retrieval, or use them to send letters or gifts to someone.

By paying a fee of 11,000 won, customers can use the lockers for a minimum of one month, and extend the usage period every month.

In addition to the lockers, on the side of POSET, tables are also situated for customers to sit and write their postcards on the spot. POSET also sells a variety of stationery ranging from pens, pencils, notepads, bookmarks and diaries.

POSET runs through 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. The store is closed every Monday.


18, Jeungga-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Mada Meal's June seasonal menu plate (Kim Da-sol/The Korea Herald)
Interior of Mada Meal (Mada Meal Instagram)

Every meal, seasoned with season

As you walk down the tranquil residential area of Huam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul located at the foot of the Namsan Mountain, a cozy brunch restaurant on the second floor of a lemon-colored brick building gives seasonal food ingredients a creative makeover.

Mada Meal, coming to the Korean word "mada," meaning every, offers a different plate of seasonal ingredients every month. Under the motto “every meal, seasoned with season,” five different items fill an appetizing, wholesome plate. A June plate includes ratatouille pasta using summer vegetables such as eggplant and zucchini, a piece of bruschetta using local potato and a torched shishito pepper as a topping, a bite-sized chodang corn rice ball with tofu spread, zucchini eggplant roll marinated with vinegar and summer fruit salad.

The plate is an experiment of its own and a fresh exploration into ingredients that we may simply not have noticed before. The combination of unlikely elements -- such as using shishito pepper as a topping to a bruschetta, is a revelation to many who have only known that kind of pepper as a not-so-popular typical Korean side dish.

Mada Meal opens every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find out more on their Instagram at madameal__

Mada Meal

2F, Huam-dong 261-1, Yongsan-gu, Seoul