Coen Pohl's profile

불금! / A Night out in Seoul

A Night in Seoul

A few years ago, when I was living in Seoul, I started drawing simple scenes of the nightlife in Korea. Things I noticed and experienced myself. These illustrations serve as memories, as well as an abstract way to show a small part of life in South Korea. Some scenes might be very mundane for Koreans, but unusual or interesting from my perspective as a foreigner. The series started with four illustrations but kept growing over the years.

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Korean BBQ

The first part of the evening: Eating Korean BBQ, which always comes with a variety of side dishes. I came to Seoul a few years ago for the first time and this has become my favourite dinner meal. Not only because of the taste, but also because of the setting. Being together with friends around a grill gives such a cozy feeling.

Soju! The most popular alcoholic beverage in South-Korea. Not everyone likes it though, as it has a very distinct taste. Personally I would choose a bottle of Soju over a beer any day! The lid of the bottle is used for various drinking games. (which I always seem to lose…)

Sometimes fun, sometimes very embarrassing… Karaoke Rooms. Especially if you are a foreigner and the only song you know is Gangnam Style….

떡볶이 (Tteokbokki) is soft rice and fish cake together with very spicy sauce which can eaten alongside the road. A good way to sober up! (or get rid of a hangover).

The steamy mandu (Korean dumplings) shops add a lot of atmosphere to the streets of Seoul.
PC Rooms

A series about Korean night life isn't complete without the neon signs and of course the numerous pc rooms (PC bangs as they are called in Korea), where koreans and foreigners spend many hours playing games like Starcraft, Overwatch and League of Legends.
Neon and 'barber shop' signs

Urban legends say that two poles spinning in the opposite direction indicates the location of a 'special' massage salon... In any case, a lot of these barber shop poles can be found along the many neon signs that cover the buildings. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Late Night Snack

For me, 24/7 convenience stores were quite rare to see before I went to Korea.  Especially since many of them offer seating outside as well, no matter what time you come. Very handy if you come out of the club at 4am. Some apartment buildings even have their own store, so you don't even need to dress for a trip outside.  

Bungeoppang are fish-shaped sweet pastries filled with red beans or pudding. At first I though there was actual fish inside... These are often sold at little food-stalls near, for example, subway entrances. The picture below shows the red bean paste spilling out.   
Rush Hour in Hongdae

Hongdae, one of the university districts in Seoul, was the first location I came to know in Seoul. It's easy to get overwhelmed in the busy hours when thousands of students try to take the subway to get home. The entrances are also popular spots to meet people (Hey, lets meet at exit 8!)
Makgeolli (Rice Wine)

막걸리 (rice wine) is often served in an iconic copper or gold coloured kettle together with copper coloured bowls and 'Jeon' (an omelet/pancake with vegetables or sea food dish). Makgeolli comes in many different tastes. From strawberry to peanut. 
Seoul Taxis

Especially when the last subway has left the station, hundreds of people will try to find a taxi. Sometimes the streets are filled with just orange taxis, reflection the neon lights of all the bars and restaurants. During these rush hours it can be a real challenge to catch one.  
For more work please check : or my instagram
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불금! / A Night out in Seoul

불금! / A Night out in Seoul

A small series of posters of scenes from a typical night out in Seoul.