Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Huimang Shijang & the new book

[To be repeated at irregular intervals throughout the week.]

First thang:

Weather permitting, my fat ass will be sitting on the concrete at the Huimang Shijang (Hope Market) near Hongik University this coming Sunday, from about 10:30AM to 7PM, selling my wares. I will probably be the only foreigner there selling something, as was true the last time I'd made it a routine to be there. If it's raining, I won't be there. If it's threatening to rain, I might not stay the entire time.

I'll be selling at least three different things: (1) brush art and calligraphy; (2) copies of my book of raunchy humor, Scary Spasms in Hairy Chasms; (3) black-and-white cartoon line art of various sizes and kinds, probably featuring stupid-looking animals.

Prices for the above will be, respectively, (1) about W1000-W3000, (2) W10000 per copy, and (3) anywhere from W1000 to W5000. As at any market, discounts are possible if you buy in bulk.

Second thang:

I've set a release date for my book of religion-related essays, Water from a Skull: Monday, June 26, 2006. Not long from now! The book will be available online via publish-on-demand at my CafePress site. I won't be using the Lulu option, because I'm not convinced of the quality of Lulu's printed product.

Currently, the books stands at around 400 pages, but there's a good bit of cutting and condensing yet to do. The price, not yet fixed, will likely be around $20.

Last time I made a habit of selling at the market, I got photographed a few times and was even interviewed. If you're an expat in Seoul with a talent for making things, the Huimang Shijang is a great place to sell your product. Beware, though-- the stuff that sells best is what appeals to college kids, especially girls: hand-woven hats, hand-crafted accessories, baubles and bangles and all that other cutesy stuff. I saw some very talented artists there, including a dude who was making and selling some impressive paintings, and another dude who was trying to sell hand-carved dojang (chops or name stamps)... neither was selling that much. Meanwhile, the woman next to me, who had an impressive display of cheap jewelery and hand-made wallets, was selling at a decent clip.

But it's called the Hope Market for a reason, ja? We all hope to sell a lot.

See you Sunday?


I blogged the directions to the market long ago. Check this post out for details.



Anonymous said...

Yay! A release date from "Water from a Skull"! Looking forward to it.

As for the market, alas, Hongik is just a bit too far away for me to just be jaunting over...

On the bright side, while you are hoping to sell stuff, I will be getting my computer upgraded! Woohoo!

And in other news, the current "word verification" sounds like something I would say if I stubbed my toe: "owgfmb"

Kevin Kim said...


I suspect you'll be the only one in Korea to buy a copy.


PS: My word verifier is "uzkmaw," which sounds like a drunken-hick version of "Grandmaw."

Kevin Kim said...


re: your new label

For what it's worth, Katolik Shinja, in the comments to this post, notes that I use "unnecessary profanity." So you can be the stubborn contrarian and I can be the unnecessarily profane one. Heh.


PS: Now "udyami." Japanese fish? Indonesian prophylactic?

Kevin Kim said...


I forgot to answer the question about legality. Short answer: I don't know. You probably have a point, because technically, I'm not supposed to be making money by any means other than through the institution that sponsors my visa. I think-- and I may be wrong about this-- that there's a loophole to that: if your institution is aware of and permits you to take on the extra work (and, I suppose, puts this permission down in writing somewhere), it's legal. That, at least, was the urban legend being passed around in the 1990s among us hagwon rats.

I should examine the exact language of my contract and see what it says about jobs on the side. There might be a clause that clearly forbids employees from taking on any extra work. But that's been undercut by certain Smoo insiders (I won't say who, exactly) who have personally offered me extra work-- which up to now I've rejected. True: such work is still illegal, but it's a measure of how "binding" a contract is in these parts.

Will research the question and get back to you.

And yes-- it'd be great to see you in the Hongdae area. Trust me: with that getup you mentioned, you'll make an impression even among the punked-out artsy-fartsy crowd.

All of this being contingent on the weather, of course...


Anonymous said...

Technically, if you're on a work visa, earning any sort of money outside the scope of that visa is illegal. The other party in your contract has no legal right to authorize you to earn income through other means.

Of course, the key word here is "technically." As we all know, it's not the legality of an action that matters, it's how strictly the pertinent law is enforced (generally, this ranges from "not very strictly at all" to "law, what law?").

Besides, any authorities wanting to make a bust would actually have to catch you in the act of making money--i.e., they would have to see (and document) a transaction being made. Legality aside, it strikes me as unlikely that they would crack down on you for selling a few copies of your book (although, "technically," it could happen).

Kevin Kim said...

Tis a silly law!