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Gwanghwa Sidae: Experience the convergence of culture and technology

  • AR, AI, hologram, and other technologies that incorporate 5G will be implemented in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun area
  • The Gwanghwa Sidae begins with ‘Gwanghwa Pungryu’, a 5G real-time streaming performance with top K-POP artists.
  • The rebirth of a large-scale cultural experience space connecting the past, present and future of Gwanghwamun, will open sequentially until February next year

Gwanghwa Sidae or The Age of Light, which embodies the history and future of Gwanghwamun in Seoul through live immersive content made possible through 5G, will be released sequentially from December 17th, starting with the 5G real-time streaming performance Gwanghwa Pungryu.

The Gwanghwamun area in Seoul will become a space for large-scale cultural experience — Via 5G-based immersive content

Gwanghwa Sidae, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister Hwang Hee) and the Korea Creative Content Agency (Director Jo Hyunrae, hereafter referred to as KOCCA), is a project for continuing the “cultivation of leading immersive content” of the three major innovation strategies for the content industry announced by the government on September 17, 2019 and the Digital New Deal cultural contents industry strategy announced on September 24, 2020.

The Gwanghwamun area in Seoul will be reborn as a large-scale cultural experience space where people will be able to experience Korea’s past, present, and future via the latest technology and as the center of immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), hologram, mixed reality (MR), and 5G-based contents.

Under the theme of “5G lights the way to a new era,” the Gwanghwa Sidae means content that is as fast as light (ultra-low delay, ultra-high-speed), healed by warm light (super-connected), and a combination of culture and tourism contents. 5G communication and the latest technologies now make these immersive contents possible at the speed of light. 

The Korean government, which has been actively supporting the growth of the digital content ecosystem by earmarking investments through 2025 of more than 330 billion won to grow immersive content, a new economic growth engine, and nurturing 1,400 key AR and VR technology specialists.

The organizers have planned and completed 8 types of immersive content:

  • Gwanghwa Byeokhwa: Immense interactive signage 
  • Gwanghwa In: AI information Center 
  • Gwanghwa Dam: Location-based immersive mission tour game 
  • Gwanghwa Won: Immersive media art exhibition 
  • Gwanghwa Jeoncha: Immersive MR attraction 
  • Gwanghwa Pungryu: 5G-powered real-time streaming performance 
  • Gwanghwa Su: Real-time big data crawling-based AR public monument 
  • Gwanghwa Gyeong: Location-based AR edutainment

Gwanghwa Sidae is expected to appeal to many people’s interests and embody the ethos of the “people’s playground,” where they will be able to access and experience cutting-edge technology, Korean culture, and tourism content.

Huge media art wall, hologram K-POP celebrities, and more

The highlight of Gwanghwa Sidae is Gwanghwa Byeokhwa, which will transform the exterior wall of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History into a huge multimedia experience. Gwanghwa Byeokhwa is composed of three-dimensional anamorphic video that utilizes the large L-shaped LED screen and a web page to allow people to interact with the content displayed on the wall in real time. This will catch the attention of visitors as a highly visible and immersive display of public art.

Gwanghwa In, an AI information center located at Gyeongbokgung Station near Gwanghwamun, is a space that integrates deep learning-based AI technology. A K -pop celebrity was filmed with video/voice synthesis and reborn as a Korean model for Gwanghwa In. At Gwanghwa In, you will be able to communicate with human AI information about cultural heritage and tourist attractions near Gwanghwamun in four languages. Also, the visual content filmed with the 3D volumetric technique transcends time and space, enabling a special experience as if being in one space with a real person. K-POP celebrities, who are gaining popularity around the world, will make a surprise appearance as Big Data hologram guides with high-quality real-time image synthesis technology and engagingly communicate with visitors.

Gwanghwa Dam, a gamification tour content that combines real Gwanghwamun and immersive technology, is a mission tour game in which you will be able to enjoy exploring the Gwanghwamun area, and the VPS solution has been applied in this AR game for the first time, providing a magnificent scale and fun in which the Blue Dragon and Gwanghwamun are intertwined. People will experience the Gwanghwa Dam game at the site of Gwanghwamun, which is at the center of numerous historical events, and will be treated to a fun and memorable visit to this historically significant site.

In addition, various video experience halls have been prepared for visitors at the Gwanghwa Sidae. Gwanghwa Won, located in the Metro Museum of Art located in Gyeongbokgung Station, is a garden of light that embodies the beautiful natural scenery of Korea with image processing artwork and has media art with the themes of “connection, healing, emptiness, and filling.” The immersive media art space applied to Gwanghwa Won and the visual art that visualizes each theme provides people with a new rest and healing venue in the city center.

In addition, Gwanghwa Jeoncha, an entertainment content that combines a panoramic screen and 4D attractions, has been prepared in Sejongno Park. Based on a ride-on simulator, the Gwanghwa Jeoncha shows dynamic and realistic video content, freely crossing the past, present, and future of Gwanghwamun Square as well as imaginary spaces, including an underwater world and space world.

At Gwanghwa Sidae, there will also be a mobile experience that people will be able to enjoy in a variety of ways while exploring the area. The interactive content Gwanghwa Gyeong utilizing location-based AR content technology will be implemented for AR play contents mapped to each place when Gwanghwamun, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History are recognized with a smartphone camera at close range. People will be able to travel between major places representing Gwanghwamun, looking at the places through their smartphones and experiencing various historic and future stories of Gwanghwamun through vivid AR. Pengsoo and Mr. Gobau characters will be applied to Gwanghwa Gyeong to make the experience more enjoyable, and it will provide a variety of attractions such as performances by popular K-pop celebrities.

Gwanghwa Su, located in the large plaza of Seoul Shinmun, is a participatory public sculpture content that applies AR and Big Data technology to a 5.2-meter symbolic sculpture that embodies the “Time-Space-Human Connection,” the main theme of the Gwanghwa Sidae. Through its dedicated web page, people will be able to leave their own stories and empathize with others anytime, anywhere in the world, and it’s designed to shine even more brightly through such participation.

At Gwanghwa Sidae, Gwanghwa Pungryu, a 5G real-time streaming performance has also been prepared. The performance by top K-POP artists against the backdrop of virtual Gwanghwamun based on Unreal Engine, will be the first “virtual live performance” using XR technology in Korea. In addition, Gwanghwa Pungryu will also be holding a collaborative stage with musicians located in famous tourist destinations in Korea through real-time connection through 5G communication technology. This stage, implemented as a media facade at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, which is known as the “dream stage” for Korean musicians, can be viewed on the Korea Creative Content Agency’s YouTube and other online channels.

An official from the organizer said, “We are proud that the Gwanghwa Sidae serves as a milestone in creating a future path for the cultural contents industry by combining the latest technology and rich stories in this highly symbolic and historical space of Gwanghwamun,” and added, “We will continue to do our best to present projects that bring new joy to many people and contribute to the domestic content industry.”

Experience Gwanghwa Sidae in the Gwanghwamun area in Seoul starting on December 17th.