Greg Laychak, Chris Cote, and Jess Hinshaw are the founders of [b]racket, a monthly print magazine covering various artists and their work in South Korea. The magazine is currently mainly distributed in Daegu but the aim is to make it widely available in the rest of Korea soon. We chatted to one third of the team, Jess, to discover more about the project.
An example of Greg Laychak’s photography: Beijing #42, 2007
What is [b]racket and when did it launch?
[b]racket is a monthly art magazine that three guys started 5 months ago.
Are you all artists?
Yes, we all do different things. Chris does a lot of different stuff, collage, drawing, screen printing. Greg is an awesome photographer, he’s had a few shows here in Korea. I have my MFA in Printmaking, I love screen printing and most printmaking mediums.
Why did you start a monthly art magazine? And why a tangible magazine rather than the cheaper and more easily distributed online format?
Artists like hard copies. We live in Daegu, and distribute here. We do a pretty small print run, but are able to hit the most important places in town because of the size…in Seoul it might make more sense to focus our efforts online for logistic reasons. We also want to offer artists a chance to build their resumes, and getting their work published in a magazine facilitates that.
Do you feature only artists who live in Daegu?
No, even though we’re based in Daegu we want to see what artists all over Korea are doing. We’ve had artists from Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. Last month our cover artist was a guy from Boryeong.
A piece by Chris Cote: Clothespins #2, 2011
What’s the art scene like in Daegu compared to those other cities?
I think the problem is that there isn’t a hub for art and artists. A city like Gwangju, which is of comparable size, has the GAC, which supports artists, art presentations, and works with other art institutions in town. There are a lot of artists in Daegu, and I think the scene could be impressive, it just doesn’t have “the place” to go. A more direct answer would be: I don’t think the art scene is very centralized.
Are you guys hoping that [b]racket will change that?
I certainly hope it will help things move in that direction.
What’s next for [b]racket?
We’re losing our designer next month, and that will be a big loss. March will be our 6th issue, and I think we’ve figured out what our voice is now and established who we are. We have a lot of ambitions, but making them become a reality is a lot of work! We want to increase distribution and add more pages, but we have had a hard time getting advertising consistently. We have no intention of making any money from printing this, we only charge a small amount for adverts, enough to cover the cost of printing. So right now, we are trying to make sure we can continue printing. Once we get some solid advertisers we can move on to more places and more cities in Korea.
Since we are making this for artists, we really want to get a flood of submissions, so if you know artists please tell them to get in touch! Our major rules are that the artists are living in Korea, and that they are serious about their work.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you find yourself in Daegu on Saturday, February 16th, there is a big [b]racket party where we’ll be giving away art and booze.
Artwork by Jess Hinshaw: Manufactured Consent #2, 2008
Read [b]racket online on the official blog or head to Urban in Daegu this weekend, Saturday the 16th of February, to pick up your own copy at their first official party. The event will feature live music and a raffle to win alcohol and art.
Images courtesy of Greg Laychak, Chris Cote, and Jess Hinshaw of [b]racket.