Online Shop Offers Mental Well-being
Online Shop Offers Mental Well-being
  • 이은아
  • 승인 2005.06.01 00:00
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   In the past couple of years, streams of online shopping malls have flooded the Internet, beckoning consumers (yes, you!) to freely look around at the comfort of their own desks. There is little you can not buy online nowadays, Ha1art shop (Ha1art), for example, is not the conventional online retailer. Ever wondered if it would even be possible to own something displayed in some foreign museum? This idea has been made possible for the first time in Korea. Ha1art offers such items, giving us an opportunity to have a unique cultural shopping experience.
   Ha1art offers a range of museum items from 13 different museums around the globe including The Guggenheim Museum, The Royal Ontario Museum, and The National Gallery. Park Sung-yul, CEO of Ha-1art, tells us more about this multicultural "cyber" art shop. "Whether you've experienced it through travel, or just at home through other sources, you don't have to be an item collector to want a piece of artwork which catches your eye. However, when you're traveling and money is a problem, or if you?e trying to keep your luggage to a minimum, you'll often let the chance pass. This is why Ha-1art was created," says Park.

▲ Ha1art receives items from 13 different museums around the world, from countries such as Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States.
- Photo provided by Ha1art Shop
   Ha1art came into existence through an M&A (merger and acquisition) with iOlive (an online print service), and launched its official online market this January. It is also planning to open an offline Cafe and display area on June 10, located in front of the Seoul Arts Center (coincidence?). This offline space is provided for customers to look around "corporally" and decide before purchasing. "This place isn't only for people to come and consume; it is a cultural space in the form of an exhibition. We also set up a small cafe and lounge within the gallery where people can take a break as they look," says Park.
   Must high culture come at high costs? Park says "no" to this. "We have a wide range of items appropriate for students' economic situation, like mugs, postcards, and stationary with printed artwork on them. In fact, a lot of our online members are women from around 20 to 30 years old. Among them are a handful of college students, especially Design and Arts students, but a more diverse group is forming throughout time."
   Culture and marketing condensed, there is another goal behind Ha1art's mindset. "People talk about physical well-being all the time. Well, we want to provide mental well-being. Observing and choosing artwork is a healthy getaway from everyday life," says Park. "Another goal is to aim at bringing a higher sense of art in a friendly way to those who were previously uninterested or have not had a chance to be exposed to it. Ultimately we aim to produce our very own forms of artwork and export them, and do what we"re doing in vice versa fashion­selling Korean museum items to foreign countries."
   Park's final words for Ewhaians were as follows,"It is important to explore as much as possible when you're still young. For instance, a backpack trip abroad may give you inspiration and confidence to heighten your level of passion in what you pursue. The more you see of this world, the more ideas are bound to follow. As the saying goes, 'The world is so huge, and there is so much to do."

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