Health-related magazines in Japan, Assouline's new concept store and a Q&A with The Art Journal's editor.
With over 3,000 magazines on the shelves of Japanese bookstores it’s no surprise that there’s a niche for health and wellness. All the big sports – and some of the smaller ones – are represented, from football and golf to surfing and angling. The growing stack of alternative health publications offer a guide to slow living, covering everything from homebaked bread to DIY reflexology. Outdoor pursuits have their own corner, whether it’s climbing, walking or trail running, and magazines for lady hikers form their own subsection, with good-looking journals such as Hütte, Wandervogel, and Randonee that offer practical advice and fashion.
New York-based publisher Assouline is the famed purveyor of luxurious art, lifestyle and fashion titles and its recently launched “lounge” concept space in Seoul’s Gangnam district has created a stir among highbrow bibliophiles and the culturally curious.
The latest in the brand’s global fleet of locations, Seoul is the first to boast this hybrid café and gallery space in addition to the requisite bookshop. “The idea of the lounge is to bring people into a cultural space,” says managing director Jane Yoo.
Scarlet walls and dramatic lighting provide an elegant backdrop to French delicacies, art exhibits and exclusive volumes such as The Impossible Collection of Cars, which sells for KRW 998,000 (€700), or a limited-edition of Gaia, the store’s most expensive item: a book of space photography priced at over KRW 9m (€6,000).
Paul Smith has given a makeover to Leica’s classic X2 compact camera, dressing it in bold colours and adding a light-bulb doodle on the pop-up flash. Released in a limited edition of 1,500 units and entirely made in Germany, its high-performance lens and 16.5 megapixel resolution guarantee superb image quality.
Launched in May 2012,The Arts Journal is looking to fill a gap in Scottish journalism. With an extensive background in publishing, Margot Wilson, together with art critic Iain Gale, decided to gather the best of Scotland’s writers, photographers and illustrators in a collectable publication three times a year.
How important is the art scene in Edinburgh?
Hugely important. The Edinburgh Festival is the main example of this but there is a thriving art scene here all year round from the Scottish Opera and National Galleries to the new Summerhall venue and independent galleries such as the Ingleby Gallery, representing contemporary artists. Great writers from JK Rowling to Ian Rankin all show that the arts scene here is flourishing.
What do you cover?
Culture and arts in the broadest definition. We are rooted in Scotland with a global outlook, and our aim is to produce a magazine to keep. Content and design are equally important, with the best possible writing. We have a huge range of contributors from Edinburgh and Glasgow and from much further afield, such as art reviews from New York, Dubai, Tokyo and Sarajevo.