Lawrence Blackman Is An Animul

He's a man of few words, that is unless he's feeling super wordy.

Featured in our June 2014 issue, Lawrence Blackman sets himself apart as an artist who seldom re-draws and often keeps editing to a minimum. Whether it's a drawing of a single flower or something resembling a stream of consciousness journal entry, Blackman always tells the truth. And he makes it seem so easy.

Blackman has previously compiled two collections of his drawings with his books "The Most Beautiful Colour on Earth" and "Mountains of Light". Now he is introducing a third book of drawings, "Animul". As with his past work, he hopes to stir up questions about human interaction and our relationship with the world around us. 

What is interesting about Blackman's work is the range of emotions that it manages to stir with its simplistic drawings and straightforward statements. His work can seem cheery, innocent and hopeful while at the same time possessing a smart, dark humor. It can make you want to yell "Everything is meaningless!" with a huge smile on your face, lifting your hands towards the sky. Or, you could find yourself whimpering the exact same sentiment with your head in your hands. You can decide if the message is positive or nihilistic. Blackman wants to leave it up to you.

View more of Blackman's work on his website and stay up to date on his latest drawings, accomplishments and events on his facebook page.

- Lisa Highfill

Walk It Out, Snap Some Pics, Win Prizes

Today marks the one-month countdown to the 7th Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. The walk is the largest of its kind with over 800 walks scheduled to take place in countries all over the world on Saturday, October 11th.

Five walks have been organized in Korea so far and photographers of all skills levels are invited to join the groups who will be trekking around Gwangju, Gyeongju, Daejon, and Seoul (which will host two walks). If you don't have a fancy camera and are only working with your iphone, don't worry. Join a walk anyway. This is a time for photographers to practice, learn, teach, get some fresh air, and generally nerd out over their love of taking pictures.

Each organizer has planned for their group to meet at a cafe or restaurant to relax and share their work after the walk.

Participants will also have to opportunity to submit their photos from the event and win prizes from this year's sponsors.

Click on the city names listed above to sign up for your walk. No photo walk organized for your city? Click here to start one! 

The Art Store You've All Been Looking For

When an artist first moves to Korea, the first thing they're going to ask is, "Why is there not toilet paper in all public bathrooms?" The second thing they're going to ask is, "Where can I get quality art supplies?" The first question has no satisfying answer, I'm afraid. But the second question is easily answered: I Am Art Store!

I Am Art has been a go-to spot for artists in Korea for ages, and every newbie artist in Korea needs to know about it. I Am Art specializes in painting supplies, but they also have a strong variety of most other art supplies as well. It's a huge two-story space, with an additional mezzanine full of goodies. The owner, Park Soo Yong, is always willing to help you find what you're looking for...


...and he's a big fan of [b]racket, too!

I Am Art Store is easy to get to and open every day. Make your way over soon and take a look.

Take exit 4 from Myeongdeok subway station on the red line. Walk straight for less than a minute and you'll see the building on your left.

- Lisa Highfill
Photos by Jess Hinshaw

[b]racket On Film And APMagnotti On Pretty Much Everything

Last month, Korean arts website ILoveINDI sat down with our fearless leader Jess Hinshaw to find out more about [b]racket magazine and the artists it features. Check out the video below.

Hinshaw explains how to artistically crack a nut between the thumb and middle fingers

Jess makes a good point: We don't care if you're an artist who is showing your work for the first or 400th time. As long as you're serious about your art and have the drive to share it, we want to see it. And submitting is easy. Just click the Submissions tab at the top of the page and show us what you've got.

We often hear of [b]racket readers cutting out art from the magazine and framing it to decorate their apartments. And what we'd like to say to those readers is HAY THOSE COST MONEY COOL IT.

Just kidding!! We love that you love the art enough to display it, so more power to ya. We'll even lend you the scissors.

But if you want to keep your [b]rackets intact, check and see if your favorite featured artist is selling their work at Society6. The online art market is a fantastic place to snag affordable prints, t-shirts and unique gifts. Past [b]racket artist Frenemy has been selling his work on the website for a while, and now May 2014 artist APMagnotti is on the inside of the Society6 circle.

Power Hungry by APMagnotti

Power Hungry by APMagnotti

APMagnotti is now featuring two pieces for sale in various forms on the website. You could get the piece above on a hoodie, tank top, cell phone case, or stretched canvas. There are even more options than the ones I just listed, so click on the image above to check them all out at Society6.

- Lisa Highfill

June Preview: You're A Winner!

Future [b]racket artist Todd Holoubek's collection Everybody Wins is one of my favorite types of art to experience in a gallery or museum. It's art that is supposed to be touched. Not only does Holoubek want you to make contact with his collection, he wants you to play. And the best thing about playing these games? You'll never lose.

Holoubek has crafted pieces that resemble the tile puzzles we played with as kids. If you weren't that one gifted kid in class who could solve the Rubik's cube in under 3 minutes, then you probably knew the frustration and defeat of not always being able to quickly solve these puzzle games.

The largest of Holoubek's pieces from Everybody Wins was recently exhibited in Seoul. Take a look at how each movement of a tile makes the player a winner.

Holoubek has an extensive and impressive body of work outside of his Everybody Wins collection. Of course, we weren't able to showcase all of it in the June issue, so be sure to take it all in on his website www.toddholoubek.com.

My personal favorite is entitled Hermetically Sealed.

Normal objects presented as icons always strike a chord with me. They serve as a reminder that all iconography is just a previously unremarkable object that is only special because we've decided to present it in a certain way. In reality, icons are not inherently special; we're the ones who have given them their power.

Jess Hinshaw writes more about Holoubek's work in the June issue of [b]racket, which will be available this weekend all over Daegu. Issues will be available in Seoul and Busan by next week. Click the Locations tab at the top of the page to see where you can get your hands on what is becoming Korea's favorite (and FREE) art magazine.

- Lisa Highfill

Now Studying Seems A Little Less Awful...

When I first arrived in Korea in 2012, I had the very genuine intention of studying and using Korean during my stay here. I taught myself how to read Hangul within my first month. I went to a free Korean class in my second month (remember that cultish group that kept recruiting foreigners in Daegu? That was a weird time...). Eventually, I even signed up and paid for classes at the YMCA. I bought workbooks. I went to one class. I was pumped. I went to the next class. I was lost. I quit. 

Round 2! Last year I started studying solo while using an online program. Things were going well! I was keeping up and retaining some vocabulary. Then I took a break from studying to go on vacation. I came back. I forgot almost everything. I quit. 

Will I ever once again step back on the wagon of seriously and consistently studying Korean and become one less foreigner who doesn't know the language just because "I don't really need it to survive here?" Maybe.

It's unlikely.

But! If I could take a page from [b]racket February 2013 artist Sarah Shaw's book, maybe it wouldn't seem so daunting. 

And I literally mean "take a page"... from her sketch book.

빨래를 하다, "to do laundry", by Sarah Shaw

빨래를 하다, "to do laundry", by Sarah Shaw

Last year, Sarah found a way to memorize Korean vocabulary and phrases by sketching them in to easily memorable pieces of art.

She uses this routine exercise of using Hangul as her subject to help inspire her to keep sketching and continue studying. Two birds, one wonderfully creative stone. 

편지봉투, "envelope", by Sarah Shaw

편지봉투, "envelope", by Sarah Shaw

various sketches by Sarah Shaw

various sketches by Sarah Shaw

A tumblr account (mappingwords.tumblr.com) was created for the project, and Sarah wants you to join in! You can contact Sarah Shaw HERE if you're interested in becoming a fellow word-sketcher and collaborating with her. And you don't have to stick with Korean -- Sarah thinks she might even start studying Spanish and begin sketching en español.

- Lisa Highfill

A Thank You And An Invite

Let's start this post off with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to Big Day South last weekend. The turnout was huge, and I think everyone got the message that Ulsan, Busan and Daegu are three Korean cities that have a lot of art and music to share with the world. Check out some of our favorite #BIGDAYSOUTH photos from the festival.

by: Jess Hinshaw

by: Jess Hinshaw

Q: How jealous are you of Chris' custom Daegu hat?
A: Extremely

by instagram.com/safpics

by instagram.com/safpics

by instagram.com/safpics

by instagram.com/safpics

We have some great photographers in Daegu, don't we? Well, the Daegu Photography Club wants to help them get even better.

by: Jeff Freeman

by: Jeff Freeman

The photography club (headed by Jeff Freeman) is hosting a photography walk on May 10th and is inviting anyone and everyone who wants to improve their photo-snappin' skills to come along. They'll be trekking around Keimyung University's campus and the Ark (pictured above).

Don't own a fancy camera? Only working with a camera phone? Don't worry, you're still invited. The photo walk is first and foremost an opportunity to socialize and network with people who share the same interests. And they'd love to help you hone your skills if you'd like by offering advice and even giving some tips on how to use programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. 

The walk starts at 2PM at Gangchang station. Out-of-towners are encouraged to come along as well. Click the photo above for more info on the group's facebook page.

- Lisa Highfill

An Emotional King Sejong: One of 52 Moments

Moments Watches King SejongMatt Ferguson’s art caught our attention back in 2012; so much so that we decided to make it our cover art for the very first issue of [b]racket. Since then, Matt has moved from Korea, but his collaboration with Moment Watches suggests that his time in the ROK made a lasting impression. His unique and simplistic watch design depicts King Sejong, the beloved Korean historical figure responsible for the creation of Hangul, with a tear running down his face. Matt created this work to illustrate that while Korea’s hasty rise in industry and economic power have proven fruitful for the nation, it has come at a cost to the country’s traditional culture and values. He believes that King Sejong might be happy to see Korea as successful as it has become. However, he might also be saddened by what it took out of the Korean people and environment to get here. Matt's work is a reminder of the line that Korea walks between their love of tradition, and their drive to be a leader in the modern global economy.

While it might be a somewhat serious message, it’s a seriously awesome-looking watch. Click here to check out the timepiece that serves as Week 12 for Moment Watches’ “Year of 52 Moments” campaign.

Sidenote: If you were planning on coming to Gallery [t.] this Saturday, Aoife Casey's reception has been postponed until February 15th. So we'll see you all NEXT weekend!

- Lisa Highfill

This Weekend: Downstairs Bar At KMU

This Weekend: Downstairs Bar At KMU

Downstairs feels like the bar in your friend’s basement--but not in a sad, moldy way. Let's imagine that your friend has great taste and is also a skilled carpenter who handsomely remodeled the entire space with dark woods and installed the closest thing to a fireplace you’re going to find in Korea. Let’s also imagine that your friend has more than Hite and stale bar snacks to offer you. This friend is sounding more like a friend I want to have.

Read More