Visitors to the 2012 Yeosu Expo view images of a giant whale and other marine creatures displayed on a large LED screen, called the Digital Gallery, Saturday. / Korea Times photo by Lee Ho-jae
By Yun Suh-young
The Yeosu Expo opened its ocean-themed fair with much fanfare Saturday, attracting tens of thousands visitors over the weekend.
Although there were fewer visitors than hoped during the first two days, the expo organizing committee forecasts about 10 million visitors during the three-month exhibition period. The committee expects the number of visitors will steadily increase through word of mouth.
The expo boasts various attractions, four of which are must-see sights. The Expo Digital Gallery, Sky Tower, the aquarium and the Big-O will grab the most attention.
Expo Digital Gallery
The digital gallery is a digital aquarium overhead in the ceiling. Located on the main street of the expo site, the gallery is built on a large LED screen 218 meters long and 31 meters wide.
It best reflects the theme of the expo by projecting ocean scenes on the screens. Through various contents made with cutting-edge technology, the gallery hopes to share marine culture. It even creates the illusion that visitors are floating in the ocean.
Walking past the Digital Gallery is a building that looks like a pipe organ made out of cement. The highest structure at the expo site, the Sky Tower used to be a cement storage tower that symbolized the industrialization of Yeosu.
The 73 meter tower is now an eco-friendly landmark. Its observatory is the best place to get a magnificent view of the expo site, the ocean and Odong Island.
The most popular exhibition hall for families is the aquarium with about 300 different species of marine life. The 6,030 ton aquarium is the biggest in the country ― about six times that of the one in 63 Tower and three times the one at the COEX mall. The tunnel shape allows visitors a 360 degree view of the 34,000 different marine organisms.
Last but not least is the Big-O which is a large O-shaped structure with lights and a water screen. The name stands for “big ocean” and it provides various spectacles including a fantastic multimedia show at night.
The show is at 9:30 p.m. every day during the expo period for 20 minutes. The water screen is 35-meters in diameter and provides various effects from video projection to water jets and laser beams. Visitors may also enjoy special musical performances on the floating stage beneath the Big-O.