The Laser Club (@laser.clvb) pop-up party was held at the Aa Design Museum on May 12 2018.
Words Gissella Ramirez-Valle, Photos Zach Williams
Seoul's club culture is thriving and it's pretty easy to keep up to date with the latest developments through Instagram. A few weeks ago a sponsored ad popped up on my Instagram feed for Laser Club. "Was this another club opening?", I asked myself as I went through my first sleepy review of Sns one morning in early May. I recognized a few DJ's on the lineup and I really liked the poster's design. The poster also mentioned that there was no entry fee, so that sealed it, without looking further into it, I was going to that party.
Laser Club was to be hosted at Aa Design Museum and at first I thought it meant that the space would be converted to a permanent club from then on. That theory was dispelled once I noticed that Laser Club's Instagram feed had mention of another Laser Club event held in Berlin in late 2017. "Ah, so this is probably a pop-up event instead...", I commented to my friends as I forwarded them the event info via Instagram DM. "Oh and haha [sunglasses brand] Gentlemonster is involved." I like Gentlemonster.
As we walked in to the party at around midnight, there were a few things to note. Yes, there were lasers. And the slanted windows were foggy with rainy mist, reminiscent of German Expressionism. Ah, great aesthetic choices for an "underground Berlin techno party". There were finger messages written on the windows and people hung their umbrellas off a metal staircase in the middle of the room. There was an open bar!
Looking more closely at the location choice: Aa Design Museum was a venue at the center of Seoul Youth Culture about a decade ago. Back then Hongdae wasn't the tourism fueled commercial sector it is now. Thinking back to what first caught my eye in that sponsored post on Instagram. It wasn't the lineup, theme, or the poster's design that really grabbed my attention. I think it was nostalgia. Having a party at a somewhat forgotten place was what attracted me to Laser Club. And perhaps that was the same reason an eclectic mix of people also came through that night. In Seoul, development happens quickly and is always looking forward. Sometimes good things get left behind.
It's very easy for a commercial event to be feel contrived or derivative. But Laser Club felt authentic. Gentlemonster was not heavy-handed with branding and instead offered us the opportunity to experience once again the not so distant past and enjoy the present.
learn more about Seoul Youth Culture & Nightlife in MUTZINE 02.