69 with Koreans. The festival’s last couple of years have been exceptional events where many claimed to have enjoyed their best times in Korea. The problem, however, is not enough of them were Korean. Park Mi-joo, an art journalist and Seoulite, was among last year’s Burners. She loves Korea Burn, but says there are multiple reasons for why so few Koreans took part last year. The first point she makes is that it “looks like a foreigner festival.” It’s an easy perspective to understand. Walking around at last year’s Burn we could have been anywhere in Northern California, Ontario or even Australia; it did not feel like a remote beach in Korea. Looking back at the footage he captured of Korea Burn last year, Lind says “the ratio of foreigners to Koreans was even higher than I thought. It was about 80 percent foreign- ers to 20 percent Koreans.” Park pointed out that the problem is mostly a lack of awareness, and the Korea Burn team is taking steps to im- prove the ratio of Korean visitors to this year’s Burn. After finishing the first-ever all-Hangeul version of the fly- er, Lind is feeling hope- ful: “I really predict this year to be much more of a cultural melting pot.” Their tactics sound promising, but there are cultural differences that no amount of clever out- reach will solve. Park’s second observation for why Koreans aren’t interested is more of a sanitary one: the lack of shower facilities, and the icky idea of sleeping in tents. Well, you can’t convince everyone. But for those who welcome the idea of sleeping outside, fire shows, hoola-hooping to drum and bass beats and splashing body paint on each other for a few days, then Korea Burn 2014 will not disappoint. According to Lind it’s going to be a lot like last year, but better. “This year we are attempting to make the entire event more cohesive. There will be a more versatile execution of the art, atmosphere, and even music.” And fire. Lind promises this year’s fire show will top last year’s, which he thinks was the best Korea has seen yet. This year’s event on Cheongpo Island will also see a jump from two days to five, running from July 3 to 7. Korea Burn is still in the grassroots phase and the kinks are still being worked out, but it’s heading in the right direc- tion. The event is a smaller, more intimate gathering than Burning Man, hosting only a few thousand people to Black Rock’s 65,000. The goal, however, is not to compete with the original festival; it is to embody those same principles of sharing and self-reliance that Chung Shin-yeob wanted to bring home, which Korea Burn does in abundance. But don’t take it from anyone else; go see for yourself. Burning is better felt in person than talked about. MORE INfO Korea Burn runs from July 3 to 7 on Cheongpo Island. More detailed information can be found at fb.com/KoreaBurn. ‘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.’ hunter lind