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“Have you seen the Jamsu Bridge fashion show? Seoul is the stage where the world pays attention, I am a salesman”

Seoul Jamsu Bridge has turned into a runway. The first fashion show in Korea held by luxury brand Louis Vuitton on the night of the 29th of last month. As Sanwoolim’s ‘No Already’ resonated, actor Jeong Ho-yeon of the Netflix drama ‘Squid Game’ appeared as a walking model. Louis Vuitton said, “The Han River is a symbolic place where history and the future coexist.” On the 16th, Gucci, another luxury brand, set up Geunjeongjeon in Gyeongbokgung Palace as the stage for its fashion show. The two events were broadcast to the world online, including YouTube.

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon (62), whom we met at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts on the 14th, said, “Now, Seoul is a city that the world pays attention to. If necessary, we will also offer the roof of Dongdaemun Design Plaza ( DDP ),” he laughed. It was like a salesman. The products he sells are from Seoul. “ OECD developed countries generate more than 10% of GDP from tourism. Korea is only 2.7%. Tourism also creates jobs. It’s a long way to go, but if you think backwards, it’s an opportunity for us!”

He is the youngest (45 years old) mayor of Seoul and holds the record for the most elections (4 elections). Born in 1961, Oh Se-hoon’s life has a clear contrast between his 40s and 50s. However, this man said, “The 10 years after throwing the mayorship were a series of hardships, but it was a golden age when he realized that he had to work with his heart, not his head.” He said, “I have a strong attachment to the work of Seoul, which is normalizing the abnormality created by the former mayor,” and “I have more heart for the 5th mayor of Seoul than the presidential election challenge.”

On the 29th of last month, the Jamsu Bridge over the Han River became the runway for French luxury brand Louis Vuitton. This is the first time that Louis Vuitton has held an official fashion show in Korea. /Louis Vuitton

Musical cluster in Sewoon Shopping Center

Mayor Oh first revealed the unannounced project on ‘Anyway, Weekend’. Four 1,000-seat theaters dedicated to musicals will be built in the Sewoon Shopping Center area. He said, “The foundation for K-dramas and K -movies that are popular around the world was laid by Daehangno artists.”

-The Sewoon district was your first development pledge in 2006.

“Old downtown areas such as Jongno~Cheonggyecheon~Euljiro~Toegye-ro are representative spaces of Seoul. Since there are old palaces in Changgyeonggung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, we planned to demolish Seunsangga and make a linear park with greenery all the way to Namsan Mountain. Instead of raising the floor area ratio to build a building with 50 to 60 floors, it was a method of accepting donations for part of the site. However, in 2014, the successor mayor changed that plan to urban regeneration, which involved demolishing and preserving the buildings. Seeing it from the rooftop of Sewoon Shopping Center is disastrous. The tented slate roofs are like ‘a lost decade’.”

  • You said you shed tears there?

“It was tears of remorse, saying, ‘I’ve become like that because I resigned. I feel guilty for the mess. Mayor Park Won-soon spent 100 billion won to build an aerial walkway next to Sewoon Shopping Center and left. There are not many users, but it is stuck like a ‘nail’.”

  • Architects who studied in Europe prefer preservation over development.

“Unlike European cities built when national power was strong, Seoul’s old downtown was built when it was extremely poor. It is not meant to be developed unconditionally. Jangchung Gymnasium has been remodeled and is in good use, and Heunginjimun (Dongdaemun) demolished nearby buildings such as Ewha Womans University Hospital to create a green space. It was restored to stand out more.”

-Isn’t the Sewoon District Musical Project a waste of administration if the next mayor shouts ‘Bakku’?

“It will take about 10 years, but no matter who comes, we have no choice but to follow the will of the citizens. An opera house was planned on Nodeul Island, but the former mayor canceled it and used it as a vegetable garden. If it gets applause, can I pursue the idea of ​​making it an art island again? Demand for culture and arts is exploding after the per capita income exceeded 30,000 dollars. The great success of the art fairs ‘Frieze Seoul’ and ‘Kiaf’ last year is proof of that.”

-K culture is a global trend. How has the view of Seoul from overseas changed?

“My expectations are so high that I am very worried (laughs). If the advertising is exaggerated, you can try the product and be disappointed.”

-What does it mean.

“The moment foreigners who come to Seoul say, ‘There’s nothing special’ or ‘It’s not worth the trip,’ the charm of Seoul created by K-Culture disappears. Promotion also has its limits. Only when foreigners become ‘a city where they come for 3 days and stay for 5 days’ is it really going to hit the jackpot. Can Seoul live up to that expectation? I’m scared and in a hurry. That’s why we strive to create at least one more attractive point of Seoul.”

In April 2022, Mayor Oh Se-hoon looking around Sewoon Shopping Center in Seoul. He said, “The foundation for world-famous K-drama and K- movie was laid by Daehangno artists,” and “We will build four 1,000-seat musical theaters and connect them to Daehangno while redeveloping the Sewoon district.” /Seoul City

Seoul as one of the top 5 ‘attractive cities’

For the Jamsugyo fashion show, the city of Seoul provided Louis Vuitton with a venue. Mayor Oh, who was criticized for holding a snowboarding competition at Gwanghwamun Square in 2009, said, “At the time, about 100 channels broadcast live to the world, and the city was successful in promoting the city. Now, the whole of Seoul is the stage.”

-Were you surprised by Louis Vuitton’s offer?

“Not at all. Great wall fashion shows and golf on the rooftops of Dubai hotels changed the city’s image. Luxury Brands Do Jamsu Bridge? It’s a non-gaming petition. haha.” -Were you invited when DDP , which was promoted as a ‘Design Seoul’ plan in

2007 , opened in 2014? “(Shaking his head) If the position had changed, I would have invited Mayor Park. I clapped at home, though. I will never forget the thrill of seeing the DDP design designed by Zaha Hadid . I was sure it would succeed as a landmark in Seoul and feed the area.” -Do you think that ‘cities need to make money’? “It should be a city where you want to spend money,” is a more appropriate expression. When people are moved, their pockets open. Let’s go, let’s eat, lion… . Before the corona, there were many cheap group tourists, but now high-end tourists with high rates are coming in. My first mission is to promote the convenience and happiness of Seoul citizens, but if I make Seoul one of the ‘Top 5 most attractive cities’, foreigners will spend longer and more money.” -What are the pros and cons of Seoul?

“From the Joseon Dynasty to the 600-year history as the capital, nature, such as the Han River, is a tourism resource with great potential. However, when it was economically difficult, I did city planning, and Gangnam is a failure. When a foreigner who is attracted by the song ‘Gangnam Style’ goes to Gangnam, there are only buildings. However, there are still many spaces to tear down and create green spaces in Gangbuk.”

  • From Some Sevit to the Ferris wheel (Seouling) and the 2nd Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Yeouido, you show affection for the Han River.

“I always think about what kind of charm to add to the waterway. The Ferris wheel is just one point. The ecological space is 200m wide and 50m narrow on both sides of the Han River, which is called the high water area. We separated walking trails and bicycle paths and created lawns and forests. The ecosystem has fully revived to the point where migratory birds return.”

-How will the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, which is about to be remodeled, change? I wonder why the site of the 2nd Sejong Center for the Performing Arts was changed to Yeouido.

“It means to achieve a literary revival. The concept of remodeling is a public-friendly cultural and artistic facility. In the past, the Seoul Arts Center and the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts were a space for the top 1% and a pie of art for the public. Ordinary citizens or tourists should be able to enjoy it. If you go up the escalator to the 2nd Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, you will be able to enjoy the view of the Han River and the setting sun. The Sejong Center for the Performing Arts also has a media facade on the front and north sides. You don’t have to pay to go to the theater.”

-Young people are frustrated by the house price that doubled under the last government.

“The lower the house price in Seoul, the better. The rich and the poor are a big problem, and the wealth gap comes from real estate. The obsession with ‘one smart house’ will not disappear and Gangnam will continue to rise. The lower middle class cannot spend money due to reduced disposable income, so the economy is not working. If there are no side effects such as reverse jeonse, I want to lower the house price. Slowly, of course. I’m putting all my energy into redevelopment and reconstruction.”

  • Mayor Park Won-soon canceled the development of the new town, saying that ‘indigenous people are being kicked out’. It was also argued that if developed, the area would be conservative.

“It was a sweet lie. It’s embarrassing to keep talking about the former mayor, but what is the result of that ‘anti-redevelopment’ policy? Regardless of Gangnam and Gangbuk, house prices have risen together. Newlyweds in their 20s and 30s had no choice but to be pushed to satellite cities in Gyeonggi-do. It happened not because of Seoul’s redevelopment and reconstruction, but because of blocking redevelopment and reconstruction.”

In August 2011, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon knelt down to claim the position of mayor in a referendum on free school meals. /Chosun Ilbo DB

10 years of living without courage

Lawyer Oh Se-hoon became famous as a broadcast host after winning a lawsuit over the right to direct sunlight. He entered politics at the age of thirty-eight. He gained experience as a member of the National Assembly after being elected in Gangnam in 2000, and won the 2006 and 2010 elections for the mayor of Seoul. He has lived as an ordinary citizen for 10 years since the 2011 free meal referendum, the beginning of the Korean welfare debate.

  • Do you know that you are in your gorgeous 40s and gloomy 50s?

“It is about me (laughs). I shed bloody tears for 10 years in my 50s, but I wasn’t that depressed. It was a worthwhile period in my life. If you used to work with your head, now you work with your heart. When I had elections in Jongno and Gwangjin, my eyes were on people in need.”

-But why did you lose in Gwangjin?

“Talking about that would take an hour. Skip today. Anyway, it was 10 years that became blood and flesh.”

Mayor Oh Se-hoon smiles brightly during the interview. / Yang Soo-yeol, video media reporter

  • I heard that you have a seven-year-old grandson. What are the pros and cons of the human Oh Se-hoon?

“There are no advantages, but our generation lived faithfully. I often hear things like ‘Oh Se-hoon is reasonable’ and ‘Don’t just work, do politics’. The downside is that I’m not good at drinking. In such a situation, I suffered a lot because I couldn’t make older brothers and sisters. The unfair evaluation of ‘neglecting people’ followed. Not being able to remember faces is also a downside.”

-Married daughters tell you about public opinion trends and ‘kkondae taboos’?

“I asked to watch YouTube, so I turned it on and said, ‘Dad, of course, you only watch the news. He pointed out, ‘It’s not helpful in municipal administration. Let me know about ‘Ingeupdong (Rapidly Popular Video)’. During the election, I said, ‘Dad, I won the debate today, but the votes fell’. Voters prefer candidates with empty corners. Now, I don’t overwhelm the opponent to the point of hating them (laughs).”

  • I’ve heard that ‘her wife always acts as an opposition’.

“I am logical and optimistic, but my wife is sentimental and pessimistic. It’s a complementary relationship. From the time he said he would do politics, he objected, saying, ‘You lack the qualities to get close to people easily or to be liked.’ They help me a lot now.”

  • Do you hear the nagging?

“sure. ‘Why do you hang your clothes on the chairs at the table?’ I respond by saying, ‘I’ll wear it tomorrow anyway, so the table is quick.’ (Her wife hangs it on her clothes hanger and asks if she puts it in her closet) She seems to have given up and just lets it go. haha.”

-What has changed in the 10 years you lived without a fight?

“I finally learned how to win people’s hearts. Elections are not won by good policies or by shaking hands a lot. All voters should vote for themselves and appeal to that selfishness. It took me 25 years to know that, so I am foolish.”

  • What is the purpose of politics?

“It is to help people in need. If you say that corporate tax needs to be lowered in order to build a company, it is unfair to frame it as a ‘party for the rich’. There is no party in the world for the rich.”

-Are you a Catholic? I will give you one minute to confess.

“The past Oh Se-hoon was overly hot and less mature. Even after he threw the mayorship, he couldn’t accept the judgment that I was wrong for a year or two. He reflected on how much disappointment and frustration he had caused. Actually, he is thanks to the successor mayor. He worked to thoroughly and mercilessly trample the achievements of his predecessors. It was then that he realized. Politics needs power to leave a mark in history. No matter how meaningful and desirable you do, the moment you lose your strength, it becomes meaningless and wrong overnight.”

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, whom we met at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, said, “Jeon Jang-yeon’s protest waited patiently until negative public opinion increased.” / Yang Soo-yeol, video media reporter

opportunity comes one more time

What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard during difficult times? “I have heard many times that you will definitely have another chance. He did not quit politics due to moral flaws or major mistakes, so it meant that he would receive the call of the country again.” He recalled that it was an encouragement that made him constantly temper himself.

-You were elected as the mayor of Seoul in the 2021 by-election in a crisis where your political life would end.

“The biggest hope was that we could rebuild the city of Seoul. Everything has regressed since my retirement.”

-Although the Seoul City Council was criticized for being a ‘opposition party’, it returned the support funds for civic groups that were concentrated on the left, and tried to solve the problem of traffic broadcasting and the Jeon Yeon-yeon protests, which used taxes in a biased way.

“Mayor Park did a consignment project and a subsidy project that were close to spreading to those who shared his ideology. He put people from civic organizations as team leaders, managers, and directors, so it became difficult to get promoted if you didn’t pass that screening. I created an organization that was excited about finding work, but I destroyed it into an organization that only looked at the market.

-I am suspected of being ‘conscious of the conservatives’ and ‘maybe an opportunist’ for taking a hard line against the illegal demonstrations by Jeon Jang-yeon.

“It was extremely patient. If I had taken a strong stance in the early days of Jeon Ji-yeon’s protest to build a subway and mobilized all means to prevent it, public opinion would still be 5 to 5. To become a politician who is half a step ahead, sometimes you have to be patient, even if your thoughts are firm. Citizens who interfere with their right to come to work on time will not be tolerated. However, the methodology used to preserve that value was to endure for several months.”

  • Normalization of abnormality, to what extent has it been restored?

“The budget has been corrected by 80-90%카지노사이트, but the organization that works creatively is only 20-30%. It is not easy to change the constitution of public officials.”

-As a politician, the degree of dislike is low, but there is no ‘oppa (Oh Se-hoon)’, isn’t it a weakness?

“Reasonable people look lukewarm, so they can’t have big fans. However, I think the base of people who agree in their hearts is wide. I don’t regret fighting the populism of free school lunches. However, it was not a matter of taking a market position. Without that 10-year gap, I would have become a mediocre politician.”

-Aren’t you envious of politicians with concrete supporters?

“I don’t think it’s concrete. He’s just an extreme supporter. Politicians who pander to the masses, left or right, are inferior. I am not envious at all.”

-It has been a long time since I left central politics, there is no faction, and the party base is weak.

“The goal of my politics is to create the city of Seoul that I want to create, just like now. With that style of work and the values ​​I have, I have reached the 4th line. I have no intention of sacrificing that value for the sake of the 5 lines. (Let’s say there is a point that ‘I only worked, but did not do politics’) Many people say that. However, I did not neglect politics in my own way. I don’t want to sacrifice the energy I put into my work to do politics in the popular sense.”

  • What is the biggest problem in our society?

“It is populism. It’s because it takes away opportunities from people who work hard and creates a downward leveling. Why do some countries continue to develop, some continue to be poor, and some develop and fall? I think the key is whether the incentive system continues to work. When the incentive system that rewards hard work is destroyed, the country stops growing and begins to decline.”

-Is that system broken?

“It has become dull. When we were young, we were convinced that if we worked hard, we could outperform the children of rich families, and it actually happened. Nowadays, young people are frustrated that they cannot catch up no matter how hard they try because the starting line is different. Then you curse the country, and evil populism finds its way.”

-Writer Lee Mun-yeol defined 保守 as ‘not forgetting the hard work of those who bought it first’.

“Jinbo used the wrong policy, such as the 3rd Lease Act, even if the house price went up like an attic. Only ideals are high, floundering in the air. Bosu has both feet on the ground. I think we should acknowledge human selfishness and reality.”

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