Changhun Hahn

06.25 2016 INTERVIEW DATE

tvN, Marketer

Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

A sharp turn into an alley of a congested street of Yeonhui-dong leads to a surprisingly quiet town and amongst the common, ordinary front doors, one opens to a unique little world, occupied with lively music and countless fascinations. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, we took a peek into Changhun Hahn’s discrete zitadelle(‘citadel,’ meaning ‘fortress’ in German) entirely devoted to the distinct taste and daily life of the owner.

 

 

Yoojin Jung

We were told this is your first time living on your own in 34 years.

There wasn't a particular reason for me to call for an independence but I ran into a place that caught my eye while I was taking a slow walk around Yeonhui-dong by chance. And I immediately packed my stuff and moved in.(laugh) It was something like a pure attraction to the isolated feeling. I loved how quiet it was despite the fact that it was a branch of a busy street and how the people I’d run into would be mostly neighbors and not the tourists you’d face in other popular allies in the area. Well, the best part is that it’s only 5 minutes away by car from work.

 

What is your current job?

I work at the marketing team of a broadcasting studio ‘tvN.’ My role is to sugarcoat programs the producers make and ‘sell’ them to the viewers. Currently I’m engaged with a program called <Around the World in 80 Days>, produced by Youngseok Na (a renown producer in entertainment). In the beginning I was employed at Mnet and ran for four years ‘M PUB,’ which was one of the benefit services the company offered to viewers and customers. It declined to run an alcohol-only culture and instead focused on becoming a cultural space mixed with music and trend, and as a person crazy for music, it was personally a very intimate job to work on. I was also in charge of casting bands or djs, and sometimes I’d ask Professor Wonyoung Jeong (one of Korea’s famous musician) or music scriptwriter Suntak Bae to dj, which were extraordinary moments I recall from the job.

 

Come to think of it, you do have an excessive amount of albums, especially LPs.

Every time I’m away on a trip I’d buy several vinyl albums, although I didn’t own a turntable to start with. As I began to live on my own and dwell in my own space, I wanted to adorn the place with my favorite stuff. And while I was at it, it was a great excuse to purchase a vintage turntable from 1969 and start my vinyl collection seriously. Friends would warn me that once I start the collection I’d be spending money on vinyls over meals, which happened to be true—I brought home 50 vinyl albums from my last business trip.

 

How did it at first feel to have your own place? Roaming the atmosphere, it seems like you’ve got your own taste in interiors or objects.

The place you live before you go on living on your own is, you know, frankly your parent’s place. It has everyone’s own room but majority of the furnitures or products are ‘provided’ to you without your choice. But then as soon as I gained my own space in 34 years, I found a huge craving inside me to pack the whole place with everything that I like. It was more like keeping all of my favorite contents by my side as much as I wanted to rather than just decorating.

 

You started out with bedsheets and pillows and a handful of books and now you’ve got a whole load of stuff. Do you have any personal rules in selecting products?

I’d always think of myself as a person with clear taste and preference but as I filled my place, I began to realize that I wasn’t sure what I’m fond of apart from music. I think I’m in the middle of carving out my taste now. And I suppose by repeating the act of buying and getting rid of things, a defined taste should build up sooner or later. 

 

Do you have any other place in mind if you had to move?

I’m pretty sure I’d stay away from high-rise buildings, which means I’d never dwell over in regions south of the river (Han River). To be more precise, I thought of Buam-dong. But I’ve got too much stuff now and I should look for a larger place first. Living in a one-room flat helped me realize that a kitchen, living room and bedroom should be separated for a better dwelling environment. Unless you tidy up with a certain rule, everything just gets all mixed up and crazy and uncomfortable. Moreover, convenient parking is another crucial factor to look at. If you live in place where it doesn't have a secure parking spot, it gets too stressful. I think I gained some learnings of priorities to consider when choosing a place to live.

 

Can you tell us about your previous whereabouts in Seoul?

I was born and raised in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul. Before my strike out, we moved twice and only to detached houses. I’ve never experienced living in apartment buildings and I doubt I’d ever live in one. Whenever I walk into hotels during my trips, I get this weird, suffocating feeling and I guess I’d feel the same if I live in an apartment building.

 

You lived in houses only and now in a multi-unit housing. Did such transition bring any change to your lifestyle?

I became aware of what ‘neighbors’ are actually like. I prefer to listen to music quite loud and while living in a detached house the volume didn’t matter much but living only a wall apart from other tenants made me realize the manners I should take to avoid any disturbance.

 

What kind of a city is Seoul to you?

Seoul. It’s a tough city to live. Recently I went to Copenhagen and everyone knows how famous it is for its high price—a small bottle of water cost around 5,000 KRW. But on my way back home, I saw on the newspaper a graph that illustrated the price rank of the world and learned that Korea ranked higher than Denmark. And wherever I go, it’s always exciting to quest for the local color of the city but sadly, Seoul is gradually becoming faint with its color. There aren’t that many ‘must go to’ places to recommend to my foreign friends when they visit this city.

 

We’re curious to hear about your usual day.

I like to stop by ‘Kimbap Records’ after work and browse through their albums. Most of the time I end up buying one and fall asleep while listening to it. Music has played a bigger role since I started living on my own. Occasionally I invite friends over for drinks and watch movies or enjoy home-cooked meals together. Oh, and I sometimes play albums as an invited dj at a vinyl bar called ‘Manpyeong’ in Sangsu-dong. It’s like a little spark activity in the midst of a simple life.

 

All the while we noticed that you’ve got a lot of frames on your wall.

I can’t stand an empty wall. It might change, who knows, but as for now, the blankness disturbs me so I keep filling the empty spots with illustrations and images that I like. I bought a couple of new posters from my last business trip to sport a cooler wall in front of the Post Seoul team but I totally forgot to pack them home! I hope the shooting still comes out nice and pretty.(laugh)

 

RECOMMENDED PLACE

Manpyeong Vinyl Music

27 Tojeongro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
2 6 Hapjeong
010-4755-9997
18:00-02:00 (월-일)

“I earnestly wish such treasury places like this keeps their place for a long time no matter the circumstances and not disappear like others.”

 

A bar which strictly plays vinyl albums only, it is a Sangsu-dong version of ‘Alley Vinyl and Pub’ in Gyeongnidan-gil (Itaewon). Its tiny sign might not get noticed by many but the highlight of this secret hide out is the treasure-warehouse-like interior and  outstanding selection of music. Guest djs are invited on weekends to play music along the theme titled ‘Soul Music’ and Hahn makes his dj performances here occasionally.