67 I n 2011, Chung Shin-yeob of Seoul made his way to Nevada in search of a city called Black Rock: the epicenter of weird; a countercultural head- quarters of sorts. He wanted to become a resident there, but his timing had to be perfect. Black Rock is only a city for one week of the year. Any other time, it’s just an empty space in the desert. For one week at the end of August, this corner of the desert plays host to Burning Man, a seven-day festival known for its leave-no-trace principle, colorful expressions of individuality and open-minded com- munity. It’s a festival where 40-foot statues are built to stand for only one week, where people dress in clothing fit for a rave on some distant moon (or wear nothing at all) and where the only entertainment, food and shelter is what you bring, build and share with everyone else. Looking back on his first Burning Man, Chung, or “Shinmasta” as he’s known among Burners, can only describe the event as “awesome.” Maybe he’s too awestruck to say more, but his actions speak loudly. Whereas most people leave Burning Man with a head full of memories and a three-day hangover, Chung left with an idea: He wanted to take the festival home. “I wanted to share the experience of Burning Man culture in Korea,” Chung says. It was an ambitious plan. When you look at the cul- tural differences between California, where Burning Man originated, and Korea, you can predict a few problems. The number of people in Korea willing to be publicly nude, dye their hair pink or walk around on stilts is probably about 1 percent of what it is in the U.S. None of these acts are a requirement at Burning Man, but they’ve all become pretty standard. Hunter Lind, a California native and several-time Black Rock resident, once lived around the cor- ner from Baker Beach, where Burning Man started in 1986. Now he’s helping shape Korea’s regional Burning Man event, known as Korea Burn, by head- ing up ticket design and guiding this year’s theme. He says getting Korea Burn off the ground hasn’t been easy. “Getting a project like this done in Korea … in such a conservative country, is really hard. I’m still in awe at how well they have executed it,” says Lind. But the world belongs to those who won’t take no for an answer. Chung and a handful of others held the first Korea Burn on a beach near Incheon in 2011. There were no tickets then, just a desire to share that feeling of freedom and community. The Korean incar- nation is now entering its fourth year, with attendance in the thousands. Like Burning Man itself, Korea Burn’s growth has been exponential, requiring yearly changes of venue to fit the growing crowd. No one is sure how big it will get, but one thing Korea has prov- en time and again is its ability to take something small and make it 1980’s Pac-Man-famous overnight. The instant popularity of cafés, Psy and colorful hiking gear are the most obvious testaments to this reality. So far, it’s still in the catching on phase, at least