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Often provocative, always creative: meet graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister | The British woodcrafters bringing a new dimension to an age-old skill | Sample Paul Pairet’s Michelin-starred culinary delights in Shanghai | See how Iris van Herpen is redefining fashion technology | Time-travel to the futuristic city of Seoul

Left: Minchan Kim views

Left: Minchan Kim views the world through his droneracing headset. Right: the demand for KPop is so high that some concerts now beam in holograms of the pop stars The following day, in a field in the city’s north west, there’s a different kind of cognitive dissonance to encounter. Minchan Kim is also wearing a headset but, unlike VR users, he’s seeing the real world race past. South Korea’s most successful drone pilot, Kim has been flying machines for the past 11 years, honing skills that have taken him across the world and back again for international competitions. “I’ve been at the top level for three years now,” he says, a handful of his 15 drones currently inanimate on the ground. This course is his, far from the city where permits to fly are almost impossible to come by. The racing drones Kim employs are nothing like the comparatively sluggish versions used for photography, and nowhere near as cumbersome as the controversial military grade models. These are more like large, furious hummingbirds; when Minchan takes a seat and puts his mask on, one of the small craft takes flight, screaming away so quickly I can barely track it with my naked eye. The pilot’s eyes are not naked, of course: he’s wearing a visor through which he has a drone’seye-view of the course. Some of the footage he has recorded is available on YouTube – it’s an astonishing perspective, a view into an inhuman world. “The next step is to improve the quality of the picture,” “ A TOP-LEVEL DRONE PILOT, MINCHAN IS JUST 15 YEARS OLD” he says, after the breath-taking demonstration. “5G will help the connection become better, the images become HD.” Despite his phenomenal skill, he is excluded from some competitions. Not because he is serving any kind of ban – Minchan is just 15 years old. He concedes that manoeuvring a drone at 45mph through intricate obstacle courses is easier than navigating the demands of high school. “I can only do this on the weekend, but I practise seven hours a day,” he says. “Apart from that, I don’t really play any other games, I just practise on the computer simulator.” Whether he continues to be a competitive pilot or not, drones will be in Minchan’s future, just as they will for Seoul’s. However, if you’re currently looking to compare the South Korean capital to a city in a sci-fi film, then it is closer to Blade Runner than Star Trek, which is to say it is advanced without being entirely polished. It is noisy and atmospheric; the smell of cooking comingles with AC vents; conventional-engined cars are still popular. While you might see businessmen on electric scooters having a video conference, they might be doing so while riding past a tank full of live octopus waiting to become lunch. Seoul may be a futuristic wonder, but it’s still a delightfully human city, too. 66 THE JAGUAR

SEOUL MATES PHOTOGRAPHY: SUNGYUL KI Fancy a day away from the bright lights? Just a couple of hours’ driving can unlock a different world – of mountains, beaches, temples and traditional villages. The Bukhansan mountains are popular with trekkers, offering spectacular views over Bukhansan park, with Seoul in the distance. The coastal city of Busan has always appealed to visitors, with its clifftop temples overlooking the sea, miles of sandy beaches and traditional food markets. Pocheon Art Valley is a former quarry where towering rockfaces now frame open-air art exhibits and murals by local artists. If it’s gastronomic delights you’re after, go to ‘Taste City’: Jeonju, a UNESCO city of gastronomy and a real hidden gem. Or, to Sokcho fishing village, whose picturesque seafront is lined with restaurants that cook up local seafood delicacies. The traditional, if slightly touristy, Folk Village in Yongin is a living museum that depicts what life was like in historic Korea. Stretching over two miles, Daecheon Beach hosts the annual Mud Festival in Boryeong. For hiking, camping and water sports – as well as some quirky themed hotels (giant soju bottle, anyone?) – head to Chuncheon. Paju, the country’s northernmost point, is home to the demilitarised zone (DMZ) – the world’s most heavily fortified border and, ironically, South Korea’s biggest tourist attraction. So get behind the wheel and explore this fascinating country. THE JAGUAR 67

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