Movement Lab is one highlight in the dozens of cafes, restaurants, galleries, and boutique shops that line the Dalmaji Hill in Haeundae, Busan, South Korea.
Type of Place
• Movement Lab – Retail Store & Gallery (Seasonal Exhibition)
• Earth Us – Cafe
148, Dalmaji-gil 65beon-gil, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Closed: Mondays)
• Metro: Line 2 (Green Line), Jungdong station (중동/202), Exit 5 > walk about 1.6km (1mile/25minutes)
• Bus: 39, 100, 139, 141, 180, 200, or 1003 at Mipo Moontan Road Ipgu bus stop (미포문탠로드입구) > walk about 1km (0.6mile/15minutes)
• Not Available (Need to use near public park lot)
Movement Lab at Damaji Hill
Movement Lab is a store that introduces lifestyle brands to the public by displaying them in the exhibition style. The one in Haeundae, Busan, where I visited, is its flagship store, and you can find two more antenna stores in Sogong-dong and Insa-dong, Seoul.
Unlike other retail stores, all the products on the display and some brands they feature are seasonal. They call the system ‘seasonal projects’. When I visited the store, their first project, ‘Humble Beauty’ was running.
Two things came unclear for me to figure out when I first encountered Movement Lab. First, it’s a little bit hard to find its entrance. The building is big enough, but it hides a little bit from the street and there is no huge sign, so you may miss it. Then, when I stepped into the place, it was more like a gallery than a store. Or, a modern style cafe.
The place has three stories. On the first floor, Cafe Earth Us and Movement Lab share space. The cafe serves coffee and pastries and the store displays some brands. On the second floor, which is the main space, you can see and experience all the products. When you go up to the third floor, you will see the artworks of Sujin Kang, and again, a breathtaking view from Haeundae Beach to Oryukdo.
Humble Beauty: Movement Lab’s First Project
‘Humble Beauty’ is the title of Movement Lab’s first project. Through the project, the participating brands and products try to focus on the original qualities of materials and to feature the beauty of them. These products are only available at the stores and online store during the project. ‘Humble Beauty’ runs until June, 7, 2020.
Participating Brands or Artists: Noroo Paint & Coatings, Jackson Chameleon, Munito, by Choi Minseok, Oblique Table, AGO lighting, Studio Mohm, Miicon, Nox Global, Prida Candle, Towelbom, Ilyongjimulsa, AL Season, Gwangdeok Craft Broom Shop, clear b, Sujin Kang, MM, and ottott.
Between The Lines, 2019 by Sujin Kang
On the third floor, you will find Sujin Kang’s artworks. I believe it’s much better to introduce the artwork through the expert’s words rather than my own:
“…In this exhibition, Kang’s first in KOrea, the viewer is presented with six large tables, connected by thousands of pieces of silk and suspended from the ceiling. Each of these silk threads, hand stitched through the wooden frames, hangs in perfect vertical alignment, creating a narrow passageway at the centre of these large hovering forms. Together these multi-limbed-like creatures are motionless, caught in suspended animation, somewhere between flying and falling, appearing to vibrate at the periphery of the viewers field of vision.
Kang has conjured a world where clean lines and perfectly articulated construction intersects with the imperfection of her natural materials. The Viewer is drawn in by the works humble material beauty and elegant formal qualities whilst also being confronted by space and absence, with a void suggestive of something lost or something to be found.
These intricate and expertly crafted objects guide the viewer not only towards their own materiality, but also towards the histories embedded in those materials and the process’ which brought them into being…”
Cafe Earth Us
On the building’s first floor, Cafe Earth Us welcomes visitors. Cafe Earth Us started in Yeonnam-dong, Seoul, and this is their second location. You may guess from its name, this cafe pursues an eco-friendly business. They try not to use plastic or any disposable materials. You have to bring your own containers or tumblers for take-out orders. Don’t ask for paper napkins. They serve your order with natural feeling fabric napkins.
Beside its ‘saving the planet’ motto, the cafe is famous for strawberry cream cheese cake and strawberry yogurt cake. While sitting there and sipping cortado, it feels like having a relaxing time in the museum or gallery.
Note: Since the taste, atmosphere and service are all subjective matters (and I don’t consider myself as a qualified foodie), I try to introduce and show a cafe, rather than rate them.
Earth Us is now closed. Ordinary.Pit, a sandwich cafe, is now open. Earth Us is still open at other locations. If you are in or visit Seoul, check its Instagram account.
Two antenna stores in Seoul are now closed. A new store in Uiwang-si, Gyeonggi-do will open in April, 2021.
Movement Lab’s third project, ‘REFLECTION;Reference’ is currently running (as of April, 2021). For it’s current project check its website.