Hyundai Card Music
Library in Itaewon

hyundai-card-music-library-front-viewHyundai Card Music Library in Itaewon - front view and entrance

Hyundai Card Music Library in Itaewon

Hyundai Card is no stranger to cultural spaces, having previously opened several such spaces, including an art exhibition space called Storage by Hyundai Card, located in the basement of the same building as the Art Library.

Additionally, the Hyundai Card Music Library, which opened in Itaewon in 2015, boasts a collection of nearly 15,000 music-related items, including more than two-thirds of vinyl records in various sizes.

A new library has opened for art lovers in the Itaewon district of Seoul. Hyundai Card's Art Library is the fifth in the credit card company's series of libraries, including the Design Library, Travel Library, Music Library, and Cooking Library.

It is on the second floor of the Hyundai Card Vinyl & Plastic Music Store. The library is home to many original art books, including many rare titles.

Hyundai Card holders can bring up to two guests to enjoy the library's turntables, browse rare and recent music magazines, and attend performances by talented artists. 

This is a must-visit destination if you love art and music!

Music Library

hyundai-card-music-library-roof-viewHyundai Card Music Library in Itaewon

The Music Library is known for its unique external architecture, which features an ample open space overlooking the city's landscape.

This striking feature was designed by renowned architect Choi Moon-kyu, who left half of the library's ground floor empty, providing a breath of fresh air in a crowded neighborhood filled with buildings.

The Music Library's outdoor void space is adorned with artwork that changes every five years.

In 2015, urban artist JR's work featured the 1969 Bill Owen photograph "Naked Man at Altamont," wrapped around two walls of the library's outdoor space.

The photo was taken at the Rolling Stones' Altamont free concert and brought back the romantic and free days of that time to the space.

In December 2020, the library featured an artwork by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Prager. Prager's art piece mixes authentic and fabricated images, offering visitors a fresh perspective on the square in front of the library.

The surrounding lighting around the building maximizes the dramatic effect of the artwork wrapping the walls, bringing out the true essence of art in the evening.

Exploring Music Through Vinyl & Print

hyundai-card-music-library-marilyn-monroeMarilyn Monroe

The library is a place where visitors can explore and appreciate their love for music through a unique vinyl and print collection.

The library's first floor features a café and waiting area, while the second and third floors house a vast collection of over 10,000 records, including 400 of the rarest albums in the world. 

The library's collection boasts 26 permanent vinyl displays and monthly thematically curated album exhibitions. Visitors are introduced to different genres through the "Rare Collection" exhibit at the entrance, encouraging them to explore past favorites on vinyl.

The library's rare vinyl collection includes albums from legendary artists such as Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. Visitors can listen to vinyl records freely by using turntables available on-site. 

hyundai-card-music-library-beatles-statuesThe Beatles

The library's music collection is organized by decade from the 1950s to today and by genres such as jazz, rock, soul, hip hop, Korean, and world music. 

Leading DJs in the field, including DJ Soulscape, Scott Mou, and Hajime Oishi, curated the collection. Visitors can select up to three albums at once and take them to play at one of the library's nine listening stations.

Apart from the impressive collection of vinyl records, visitors can also explore nearly 4,000 books and periodicals, including the complete collection of Rolling Stone magazine from its first issue in 1967 to today.

Other printed materials include songbooks and non-fiction on the history and philosophy of music. 

The library is a must-visit for music lovers who want to rediscover the magic of music through vinyl and print.

Concerts at Understage

hyundai-card-music-library-vista-people-viewSitting area in front of Hyundai Card Music Library in Itaewon

Understage is a concert hall located on the B2 floor of a building. It is a high-end venue that can accommodate up to 500 standing guests.

Hyundai Card conceptualized Understage as a communication platform to share its cultural vision with guests through music-related events hosted or arranged by in-house curators. 

These curators include famous composer Yoo Hee-yeol, actor Kim Suro, singer-songwriter Yoon Jong-Shin, rock band frontman Chang Kiha, DJ Soulscape, and others.

The stage backdrop is adorned with a sculpted relief by Portuguese artist Vhils, who carved the face of a free-spirited musician into the wall.

Vhils also created a second artwork on the library's top floor, comprising dozens of white speakers attached to the upper walls.

Supporting Fledgling Artists

hyundai-card-music-library-roof-viewHyundai Card Music Library in Itaewon - front and ceiling views

Vhils' Understage mural stretches up to the B1 floor, where three soundproof producing/recording studios have been installed inside indoor shipping containers.

These studios and the waiting room are intended for artists, most underground musicians, to practice, record tracks, and produce their demo albums.

Here are the four principles to follow when selecting good music:

  1. Inspiring: Music that stimulates and provokes.
  2. Vitalizing: Music that vitalizes daily lives.
  3. Pivotal: Music that has influenced the field.
  4. Timeless: Remember to include any timeless classics in music.

Location: 246 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.

Business Hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday: 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Sunday and public holidays: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
  • Closed on Mondays and during the Lunar New Year/Chuseok holidays.

Entry:

  • Hyundai Card holders can bring up to two guests.
  • Hyundai Card DIVE app holders can enter on weekdays only.
  • Visitors must be 19 or older.
  • Photo IDs must be submitted upon entry for cardholders and guests.

Books:

A total of 10,000 vinyl albums and 4,000 books on pop music since 1950.

Collections:

There are around 400 vinyl albums, including some of the rarest releases in the world. The complete collection of Rolling Stone magazine from 1967 to the present.

Facilities:

  • Understage, an underground concert hall beneath the Music Library can accommodate up to 500 guests for standing concerts. 
  • Three soundproof studios are also available for musicians to practice, hold jam sessions, and record.

Architecture: Choi Moon-kyu designed them, and Gensler did the interior design.

Directory:

  • B1-B2: Concert Hall & Music Studios.
  • 1F: Café & Lobby (open to the public).
  • 2F-3F: Collection & Listening Stations (open to Hyundai Card Members only).

Source:

  1. https://newsroom.hcs.com/front/board/Hyundai-Card-Music-Library-2?country=en
  2. https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2022/08/09/culture/artsDesign/korea-hyundai-card-art-library/20220809152822166.html
  3. https://dive.hyundaicard.com

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