Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yi Sun-shin drives away

As soon as the G20 Seoul Summit 2010 non-event got packed, Admiral Yi Sun-shin was awarded a few months leave from his position at the lower end of Gwanghwamun Square.

His iron statue was removed today, and driven to a rejuvenating lair probably less glamour than Chaum, CHA Hospital recently inaugurated upscale anti-ageing center*.

I sincerely hope Yi won't come back with the same golden tan as his new neighbor King Sejong (see "
Santa Sejong is coming to town").

Anyway, living in Gwanghwamun is a bit like watching a Korean drama : new twists happen every day, but they are quite foreseeable** and you often end up with the same bankable stars.

On the brighter side : since the gate reopened, tourists have been swarming all across the square***. And those who just came for Korean dramas will come back for Seoul.

Seoul Village 2010

* a spectacular, holistic concept for VIPs in the heart of Gangnam, which also happens to be the heart of Korea's booming medical tourism. A reference in birth (and stem cells), CHA Hospital remains ahead of Korean trends and demographics.
** even if, when I wrote "Gwanghwamun restoration : too bballi-bballi ?", I didn't expect the gate to show signs of alteration that quickly : big cracks appeared on its seal just weeks after the inauguration.
*** and the
Sejongno Park is yet to be redesigned.

---

UPDATE 20101117

Along with the screen where visitors can appear in Yi's outfit, the statue's pedestal has been animated with an original installation by Yi Je-seok : where the Admiral stood, a huge fitting room, his armor lying on the wall, and the message "undressing" (daluijung) on the door. The King will come out of the closet (no pun intended) on December the 22nd, 2010.

UPDATE 20101210

Oh my gold : I saw pictures of the statue in its lair, and it will have the same coating as King Sejong's (a bit like a cheap plastic Disney toy). Now even Seoul's new baby Haechi character looks scarier than Yi with its fangs. Who the hell is in charge of statues out there ?

UPDATE 20101223

Phew. He's back, but he's not doning gold : after many hesitations, officials opted for a lighter dark color.

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