Exploring the center of Korea’s digital age
Story & Photos by: Wendy Palomo
The spread of aesthetically remarkable buildings in the whole of Digital Media City (DMC) is an architectural delight. A leisurely walk stretching from the DMC Gallery up to the Millenium Eye Park is a walk in a paradise of contemporary design. If it challenges your imagination of how the future looks, then it is successful in the imagery it evokes. Each and every structure, from the media poles, buildings and sculptures, serves as visual entertainment. The visual entertainment is complemented by its capabilities. DMC is, after all, home to a state-of-the art complex where Korea’s major media companies reside.
The DMC Gallery is the best place to start your walk through the whole complex. It has a rolling red carpet warmly welcoming everyone without any entrance fee. The Gallery exhibits the admirable history of Sangam-dong’s landfill area that has now become a model of ecological transformation. Never miss the 3D video presentation that will leave you in awe of the DMC’s high technological features. The walk spanning Digital Media Street will show you all the features in the short clip. The Gallery is also a cultural facility where interactive screens just outside the small theatre are waiting for visitors to playfully interact. The second floor houses the MCN Experience Center where visitors can have a glimpse of, and try to be part of, the Filming Studio, Recording Studio, Editing Studio, Chromakey Studio and MCN Showroom.
Where to Start Your Walking Tour
Just beside the red-carpeted DMC Gallery stands a huge two-headed sculpture of a man and a woman. When illuminated at night, they make a stunning photo. The woman, looking up to the sky, appears to be embracing the man who was looking to the ground. This is a very visual convergence of man, media and technology. And this is just the start of the awesomeness.
DDMC Tower, SBS Building, YTN Tower and CJ E&M
The cluster of buildings beside the gallery and the sculpture vie for attention. Rightly so. Each of these buildings creates its own identity and demand for appreciation.
DDMC Tower could be your typical huge building if not for the graceful lines that accentuate its glass walls. The gracefully curved lines soften its hugeness and give character to its glass walls. Standing in front of the YTN Tower gives a New York Times Square feel. It has a huge LED screen showing real time news. At night, the building shines bright in all corners. CJ E&M’s exterior is halved by a big screen showing all the magnificence of CJ E&M’s digital graphics. It’s a daily display of bursting colors. The SBS Prism Tower stands in its tiled façade of dainty blue and pink. The whole building is covered with blue and white tiles with a square cut in the middle giving space for media wall.
Of course, no building in this highly-innovative and technologically-equipped milieu goes without entertaining illuminations, especially at night. Daytime goes by with their respective shows broadcasted on their screens.
MBC, Nuritkum Square and Star Park
MBC occupies the most space here in Digital Media City. It is in the center, proudly stamping its brand on imposing buildings. The main MBC Building that serves as the company’s headquarters stretches and occupies one side of the full block of the main plaza of DMC. It houses the three-part MBC Theme Park where visitors can enjoy and live their K-drama life. The park has given so much happiness and giggles to K-drama fans. The MBC Mall Park is a miniature version of the futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Though small, this glistening, silver building right in the center commands attention. The Nuritkum Square produces a wealth of digital content for movies, dramas and commercials. Production facilities and companies thrive here since this was put up to serve as a conducive and inspiring place to burst with creative juices.
The Star Park is true to its name and delivers the handprints of glamour. A long expanse of the MBC grounds is dedicated to these celebrity handprints. It’s not exclusive to Korean celebrities, apparently. International celebrities who have graced the APAN Awards have their own dedicated handprints, too.
In the middle of the park conspicuously stands a sculpture of two humans, mirrored by a red frame, almost touching their fingers. It is powerful in its imagery and you may entertain yourselves with various interpretations. This prominent sculpture is called “Square M-Communication”. This is a world-famous sculpture courtesy of a scene in “Avengers: The Age of Ultron” where a flying object passed over the sculpture.
Korean Film Archive
The Korean Film Archive is DMC’s treasure. One hundred years of Korean movie history is curated in its museum located on the ground floor of the building. There are tour guides available upon request for scheduled group tours, but these are done in Korean. But fret not, the museum has English translations. You can quietly go about appreciating the Korean film industry from past to present. Aside from the museum, the Korean Film Archive Building has Cinematheque located at B1. It is a “space where a variety of classic and artistic films, both domestic and international, are screened in accordance with the basic purpose of rediscovering the values of films suffering from wear and tear, films gradually forgotten by audiences, and films whose values were not properly recognized.” Movies are screened free-of-charge from Tuesday to Sunday.
The Millenium Eye Park
The Millenium Eye is located at the other end of DMC in the Guryong neighborhood park. It is the symbol of DMC with its 142 stainless steel balls looking like they are rising water bubbles that reflect the vision of leading the world into the future of the digital media era. The Millenium Eye consists of three parts – “Millenium Cell”, “Global Eye” and “World Square” – which captures the features of DMC, a place where people around the world will engage in active exchanges and experience various things through advanced media technology.
How to get to DMC
DMC is located at 366 World Cup Buk-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul.
Easiest commute will be to go down Exit 9 of Digital Media City and it will be a short five-minute walk towards the cluster of buildings that make up DMC.
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