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Birds’ eye view of an older man with 4 younger people standing in a circle and playing rock, paper, scissors with their hands in the middle. On the left-hand side, a white IONIQ 5 is parked.

Kulture Stories: New meets Old

6 minute read

From our earliest days to today, we have always prided ourselves on bringing the new to the old to push the boundaries of our brand – Hyundai. In celebration of this, we recently brought a group of Gen Z and elderly people together, with the help of photographer Min Hyunwoo and our IONIQ 5 and 6 cars, to enjoy some timeless locations in Seoul. Join us on our journey through the city and meet the stars of our new video.

New meets Old

Through the years, we have pushed the boundaries of car design again and again by bringing the latest and the newest innovations to our “old” classic design. By doing so, we have consistently created iconic forms of mobility that stand the test of time, the latest example being our Pony and our IONIQ 5.

Our approach of bringing the new to the old is not unique to us, it is embedded in our culture. As a Korean brand, we are inspired by our Korean culture, often referred to as K-Culture, which blends dynamic modernity and ancient tradition.

Rooted in a rich history that spans thousands of years, the more traditional aspects of K-Culture such as hanbok, the elegant Korean attire, and the meticulous art of calligraphy, show our profound respect for our heritage. While the “new” Korean culture is characterized by Gen Z style, technological innovation has taken the world by storm in the form of K-pop music, K-dramas, and K-beauty.

Today, K-Culture is no longer solely focused on the ultra-modern, high-tech “newness” that South Korea has become known for. The new, younger, generations are moving into and celebrating the older buildings, neighborhoods, cafés, and restaurants in Seoul.

Not only are the “new” kids on the block bringing their fresh energy to these spaces, but they are blending into the “old” Seoul and creating something entirely new. This is the birth of a new and genuine form of K-Culture. It is this new K-Culture that we wanted to explore in our K-Stories film as these stories reflect our commitment to bringing together the best of our heritage and our latest innovations.

The bumper of a white IONIQ 5 sits in the foreground. Behind the car a group of 3 young people and an older man are all gathered together in the middle of a street, the older man is pointing at something and the young people are listening to him.
An elderly man with white hair is standing next to two young men who are sitting on the top of stacks of chairs along an old wall. In the foreground sits a white IONIQ 6.
An elderly woman with white hair sits in the middle with two younger women on either side of her. The younger women are holding different colored roses around the older woman’s head and she is holding both of her hands on either side of her face. All of the women are smiling.

Seoul – where tradition
meets modernity

Seoul, the vibrant capital of South Korea is a mesmerizing blend of new and old. It is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, but certain districts make you feel like you’re taking a trip back in time.

The new parts of Seoul, such as Gangnam and Yeouido, epitomize the city's contemporary spirit. Skyscrapers pierce the skyline, and when you wander between them the streets are alive with a vibrant energy where you can see cutting-edge technology all around you.

Yet, it’s the old parts of Seoul, such as Jongno and Bukchon Hanok Village where you will find the cool young people. Walking through these narrow alleys lined with traditional hanok houses and standing in the shadows of the great palaces, including Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, you can feel the buzz of the new “old” city.

A view through the open door of an IONIQ. On the sidewalk stands an elderly woman wearing a pink flowery tunic dress with white hair and two younger women – one with blond hair and one with dark hair and both are looking at the older woman. The dark-haired woman has her arm resting on the car door.

I am fascinated by time
and find the way it
disappears very moving.
That's why I like to take
photographs to capture
that feeling. MIN HYUNWOO

Capturing intergenerational
joy with Min Hyunwoo

35-year-old Seoul-based photographer, Min Hyunwoo has created beautiful and joyful portraits of elderly people in their homes and attracted global attention for his work.

Min grew up in the Korean village of Samcheok before moving to Seoul when he was 20. After becoming a full-time photographer in his 20s, he has become known around the world for his compelling work centered around the themes of aging and intergenerational connections.

Through his lens, he has captured the essence of elderly women or grandmas and shared the stories etched on their faces. But he also recognizes the power of building relationships between different age groups.

By capturing interactions and shared experiences between the young and the old, he portrays the transformative power of intergenerational relationships and illuminates the shared humanity that connects generations.

An older man with white hair stands in between two younger men and they are all eating ice cream cones. The young man on the left-hand side has dark hair in cornrows and the younger man on the right-hand side has long dark curly hair. All three men are smiling and laughing

Bringing the elderly
and Gen Z together

Inspired by Min’s work, we decided to bring some members of Gen Z to meet some older members of the Seoul community so they could show each other their city, revel in the new K-Culture and share their own K-Stories.

For one day, we followed photographer Min, along with Jung HyungSeo (73), Seo InChul (73), Lim JungJa (82), and Gen Zs – Hanseo, Jaewo, Minju, and Hyowon – to locations around Seoul, traveling from location to location in Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 & 6.

First, we visited Euljiro, a neighborhood nestled in the heart of Seoul. Known for its bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere, Euljiro is often referred to as the "artistic soul" of the city. This area is famous for its intricate network of narrow alleyways, where traditional craftsmen and artisans have honed their skills for generations.

An elderly woman with white hair wearing a pink flowery tunic sitting in a flower shop surrounded by bouquets in lots of bright colors. In the foreground, a young woman is taking a photo of the old woman on her phone.

These traditional workshops, modern businesses, art galleries, and trendy cafes have found their home here, creating a dynamic fusion of new and old. Here, our group of young and old people was able to enjoy some tea at the Eulji café and share their favorite vinyl records at an LP bar.

An elderly man with white hair is being led along a traditional narrow street lined with shopfronts in Euljiro by three younger people who are talking animatedly around him.
A young woman with dark hair is holding a traditional cup of tea up to her mouth and is sitting next to an elderly woman in a pink flowery dress with dark-rimmed glasses on who is smiling.
Four cups of traditional tea sitting on a polished wood table.

Then, we traveled to Jongno. With its name translating to "Bell Street", the Jongno neighborhood is steeped in centuries-old heritage and serves as a cultural epicenter of the city. Here, chic boutiques, art galleries, and trendy cafes blend seamlessly with the traditional hanok houses, historical sites like the grand Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, traditional markets, teahouses, and restaurants that serve Korean dishes loved by young and old.

An elderly woman stands between two younger women, and they are all peeking into an old palace door.

Walking through the streets of Jongno, our group of young and old people swapped stories and enjoyed some delicious Korean barbecue together at the Seonbiok restaurant located on the wall of Tapgol Park.

An older man with white hair grilling meat on a traditional Korean barbecue and sharing it with a young man with cornrows.
An older man with glasses and a hat on sitting next to a younger man with a hat. They are both inside the LP bar with vinyl records behind them.
An older man with glasses on wearing a striped, black shirt. He is holding a record and is laughing together with a young woman dressed in white inside the LP bar.
An older woman with white hair flanked by two younger women walking along the side of a palace wall. One of the young women and the older woman are walking with straight legs lifted high and they are all laughing.

Pony, IONIQ, and the future

Here at Hyundai, we remain committed to bringing exciting innovations to the world while staying true to our heritage. The K-Stories are part of our Heritage campaign, which is dedicated to the celebration of new meeting old, and connecting our past with our future.

In our recent 'pony' music video, the classic Pony and the new IONIQ 5 represent our connection to the future. The Pony has transformed over time, and the futuristic IONIQ 5 is the result of the new meets old philosophy.

Silhouettes of the hoods of the 1975 Pony and the IONIQ 5.

Follow our journey through Seoul and join us on the road from the past to the future by follow @hyundai on Instagram.


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