Korea Pavilion, a Mix of High Tech & Art

Showcases latest IT and signals the revival of Hallyu








The Republic of Korea Pavilion promises to be a must-see attraction during the six-month run of Expo 2010 Shanghai as it presents the latest state-of-the-art information technology and Korean culture. The pavilion, designed in accordance with the main concept of the pavilion ¡°City of the future,¡± a mix of culture and technology, is sure to give a strong impression to Chinese people with diverse performances based on Hallyu (Korean Wave), Korean pop culture sweeping Asia, and the IT Korea has accumulated.
The pavilion, built under the theme ¡°Friendly City, Colorful Life,¡± has a floor space of 7,683.5 square meters on a lot of 6,160 square meters in the A Zone (Asian nations), Section C in the Pudong District of the Expo 2010 Shanghai site. Externally, it is decorated with geometric features of Korean letters and 38,000 pixels in pixel art by Korean-American installation artist Kang Ik-joong internally to fascinate the eyes of spectators. At night, 42,000 LED lights illuminate the Korean letters to turn it into what appears to be a breathing structure.
The pavilion has already gained recognition among Chinese as a must-visit spot for photographers and was ranked fifth in a recent survey of national pavilions Chinese people wish to visit by the Shanghai-based daily Wenhuibao.
No fixed gate can be seen on the first floor since it is open toward four directions to provide shade to beat Shanghai¡¯s sweltering summer and a cooling air curtain to shut out the hot outdoor air. The first floor is shaped like Seoul in miniature with a river and a mountain in a scale of 1:300. In reality, spectators may have a strong impulse to dip their feet into the water flowing along a 40cm-deep river. Performances take place on the stage below the river ¡ª Namsan Hill ¡ª with a maximum of 650 seats on Mt. Bukhan for spectators watching traditional Korean dance, music and other diverse performing arts. Twenty-seven kiosks introducing all things Korean are scattered throughout and the two water screens above the river give it a visual effect of flowing to give coolness.
The escalator takes spectators to a waiting lounge on the second floor, capable of accommodating 3,400 people at one time.
The slogan of the pavilion ¡°Your Friend, Korea¡± awaits spectators who tour the second floor. The first one of the seven exhibition rooms on the second floor is the Culture Zone, showcasing the quintessence of Korean culture ¡ª traditional and modern alike ¡ª via the 118-inch supersize screen. Nanta, a nonverbal percussion musical; B-boy dances; traditional Korean music; mask dances; Taekkwondo, a Korean martial art; fashion shows; pansori; and Hallyu star performances are presented to the visiting spectators.
Spectators are given an opportunity to bask in Korea¡¯s nature in the Nature Zone in which hemp cloth cascading from the ceiling might make visitors mistake themselves for being in the forest. From there, they can take a peek into Korea¡¯s environmentally-friendly lifestyle and green growth strategies.
Noteworthy is an advanced graphic method using the augmented reality technology employed to compare shots before and after the restoration of the Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul via a supersize screen.
The Technology Zone features four 3D TV sets in the forest of 13 optical fiber trees. Spectators can choose videos they want to see on kiosks in front of each TV set and watch them via 3D glasses. With the Cheonggyecheon Plaza as the background, a video displaying China¡¯s dragon kites and Korea¡¯s pangpae (shield) kites is presented.
The highlight of the pavilion is a musical by singer Yuno (actor Yuno Yunho) and a girl whose dream of becoming a ballerina was shattered by physical handicaps (actress Jeon Min-seo) with a pleasant and impressive storyline under the theme ¡°This City Will Make Our Dream Come True.¡± The 12 minute-long musical, combining 3D animation and multimedia shows, is followed by a performance in which a stage screen is opened to give way to spectators so they can enter the Yeosu Expo publicity hall. Diverse activities publicizing the expo under the themes ¡°Living Sea¡± and ¡°Breathing Coast¡± are presented. nw

A general view of the Republic of Korea Pavilion at Expo 2010 Shanghai.

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