Black and white cafes - why they took root only in Asia (6 photos + 2 videos)

22 May 2024

Perhaps you have seen such photographs of surreal cafes. They are like drawn frames from a cartoon - with bold, sometimes uneven, hand-drawn lines. This has been a popular trend for the last 6 years - black and white cafes, the most famous of which is perhaps Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 in South Korea.

It is believed that it was discovered after the release of the 2016 drama “W – Two Worlds,” in which a cool hero from a webtoon finds himself in the real world. Everything here - the floor, furniture, dishes, door handles, chairs - seems to have been pulled from a picture into the real world.

Photos from a cafe in South Korea

And when a real person appears in such an environment, the brain even experiences some “reboot” in order to connect the two worlds in the head.

Is this a real photo? Or a painting? Or a neural network? My brain is a little numb

A very refreshing exercise for the brain.

In one year, his analogy began to open black and white cafes all over the world.

This is a black and white cafe from St. Petersburg. We repeated, but did not catch the spirit of the cafeteria. It doesn't feel like you're in a cartoon. Just in a black and white room

The second most recognizable one was still the “2-D cafe” from Tokyo. It looks simple and impressive, rather a drawn French style. The food, however, is in ordinary plastic cups and iron plates; couldn’t you buy a couple of sets of white dishes?

And this is a Japanese 2D cafe, a little in the French style

Welcome to the clip

Most often, such a cafe, by the way, is compared not to cartoons, but to A-ha’s “Take on Me” video? Indeed, a very memorable clip in which a girl finds herself in a comic book.

But if the clip is European, why do such cafes gain a foothold in Asia, but are not very popular in other countries?

The food in the Tokyo 2D cafe is a complete failure in my opinion, compare with the cups in the Korean one

There is a version that Asia is the most “Instagrammable” region. They really use it more here than at home in the USA. The largest number of users, of course, are in India, but this is due to the population and because it is not used in China.

But in Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia, the social network for photos is loved more than in Europe.

The passion for aesthetics, especially in South Korea, forces the creation of more and more “photo spots.” If in Prague, for example, ancient squares and medieval houses are used for photographs, in Asia this is not surprising.

Another thing is the purple island that I wrote about. Or a “colored village” painted entirely with graffiti. First of all, they try to make any place attractive for photographs and photo sessions, since this, and not history or unique cultural traditions, will bring them the most clients.

Until now, we are unlikely to go to a nice cafe where the food is terrible. In Asia it’s easy, they didn’t come there to eat, honestly.

And it’s worth admitting that they are more skilled at this than we are. And the Korean black and white cafe looks much more “magical” than the photographs of its St. Petersburg counterpart. Or is it just me, what about you?

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