Seoul, a City of Nature and Technology

11th Feb, 2020

Seoul from its poignant history

Strategically located along the Han River, Seoul's history could stretch back over 2,000 years, when it was founded by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

According to 2012 census data, the population in the area makes up around 20% of the total population of South Korea. Recently, the city has become the economic, political and cultural hub of the country that hosts several Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, SK Holdings, Hyundai, POSCO and LG Group headquartered there.

Seoul was the home to the 1986 Asian Games and 1988 Summer Olympics as well as one of the venues of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Now it is going through yet another transformative time.

While there, I could perfectly feel the spirit of this change thanks to the beauty of art.

Renowned ‘dansaekhwa’ (monochrome painting, in Korean) artist Yun Hyong-keun presented his first exhibition in Palazzo Fortuny at the last Venice Biennial. The exhibit featured over 60 works by the late artist whose dark and poignant paintings magnificently capture the shattered national psyche of our era.

At the exhibition, I came to realise how much Korea has suffered. Then, my last visit in September 2019 gave me a new perspective on Seoul. The city is exploding in many areas, with nature, culture and technology its highest priorities.

Seoul from above

N Seoul Tower

When I visit a new place, the first thing I like to do is to climb a tower or an elevator to see the city from above. One of Seoul’s well known towers is the N Seoul Tower, a much-loved landmark of the city. The tower’s digital observatory is unique and offers an astonishing 360-degree view over a city of more than 10 million people.

Seoul from the ground - the Coex World

SM Town Artium Coex

Anyone who loves high-class entertainment should definitely visit the newest and most exciting cultural complex. You will be sure to run into a celebrity here. Perhaps someone from K-pop? The building also houses Korea's biggest hologram theatre. Outside, your attention is drawn to the largest screen in the country, as big as four basketball courts and referred to by locals as ‘Korea’s Times Square’.

Business events at Coex

Founded in 1979, Coex is an establishment in the world of Conventions and Exhibitions. However, a lot of adjustments have been made since then. The building is suffused in a glow of light and houses four main exhibition halls and 55 divisible meeting rooms.

Starfield Coex mall

The mall is not only a shopping centre but also a theme park. You will spot all the luxury brands in fashion in its brightly lit showcases. The dining options are infinite. Personally I was extremely fascinated by the huge open space crammed with books of the Starfield library.

King studio

This Studio brings people together. In this genuine K-pop studio small groups or individuals can take in the production experience with professional recording engineers and vocal coaches. I succeeded in making a vocal recording with a group of 6 for the first time here.

Seoul from the green

Haneul (sky, in Korean) Park

As the nation’s capital, Seoul has built up a great reputation with regard to nature conservation. A good example of this is Haneul Park (that used to be a landfill) which was transformed into an Ecological Park. The park is situated on the highest section of 2002’s World Cup Park and offers breathtaking views of Seoul.

Oil Tank Cultural Park

The Oil Depot Base, to which access was restricted in the past 40 years, has been transformed into an environmentally friendly cultural multiplex. Six oil reservoir tanks remain on-site and have been transformed into performance venues, exhibition halls and lecture halls.

Seoul Battleship Park

This one was the first shipbuilding themed park in Seoul. You will find three retired Korean navy vessels on display here, including a submarine. All ships have been converted into an exhibition space featuring the history of the Hangang River and the way people lived on board of these warships.

Seoul Botanical Park

Visitors in this park are reminded of the importance of preserving plant species, particularly if they know that Seoul is doing everything in its power to remain a sustainable green city. It features a flower-shaped or flattened glass dome and a skywalk stretches across the upper canopy of the garden.

Seoul from the table

Seoul is known for its incredibly tasty and healthy cuisine. There are many street food corners and you will find countless trendy coffee bars in the city’s narrow streets. A few restaurants were given special attention by me.

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