The Great Coffee Tour: Untitled 2017
Always on the agenda for Jeju Island was this; G-Dragon’s cafe (if you can call it that), Untitled 2017.
The building is an architectural marvel. And I said that before I knew what it looked like from above (which I shall explain at the end, as Mary explained to me, if you’re curious).
It is filled with interesting things that draw you in, even if you aren’t familiar with what makes them significant to G-Dragon fans. See these giant flowers? They expand and deflate intermittently (making a sound akin to air being blown into jumping castles when they do), in an apparent reference to the last thing G-Dragon said before he went to complete his military service, ‘we’ll meet again when the flowers bloom’.
They were a little less ‘flowers bloom’ and a little more ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ for me, but I appreciated the sentiment.
In summer, this enormous space is apparently packed to the rafters with fans. This doesn’t surprise me a bit, given the steady stream of visitors while we were there, taking endless photos and buying bags of merchandise. And they weren’t all young either – a group of women who looked around my age (which here means they were probably decades older) were happily buying sweatshirts and badges along with everyone else.
Part museum, part gift shop, part monument to the man himself, Mary would have lowered her coffee standards for Untitled 2017, but the barista acquitted himself well with her iced Americano, and even better when he sold her one of the PEACEMINUSONE clips from his personal collection.
Me? I was just sad that I was driving, and couldn’t avail them of a bottle of sparkling.
We rounded off our coffees with another round of bowling, this time in G-Dragon’s personally-designed AC.III.T. bowling rink.
I loved the shoes and being not half bad at bowling, but not nearly as much as I loved Mary enjoying herself so much that, at one stage, she started dancing (we had the place to ourselves).
I’ll tell you this; G-Dragon is pretty cool…but he’s not nearly as cool as Mary.
For anyone who cares to know, G-Dragon’s real name is Kwon Ji-yong. Ji=G and yong is the Korean word for dragon, hence G-Dragon.
His brand is PEACEMINUSONE, the symbol for which is shown here beside the aerial view of Untitled 2017. If you look carefully, you will see that taking a line out of the peace symbol creates a G and a D, and this is also represented in the shape of the building.
The scope of this culture is mind-blowing.