The Mermaid Legend of Geomun-do to Be Revived by a Master French Director
The legend of a mermaid of Geomun-do, an islet off the Southern Coast of Korea, is to be re-created as a short film by an acclaimed French movie director, Charles de Meaux.
The Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea announced on November 17 that the legend of Shinjike Yeo Mermaid, a mythical creature believed to be the guardian of the island, will be made into a film and shown to the audience at the Expo Digital Gallery (EDG).
According to the legend, the mermaid of Geomun-do, called Shinjike, has fair skin and dark, long hair. It appears at night with bright moonlight or at dawns to save the lives of the fishers from storms by makings noises or throwing rocks.
The movie of the Sinjike legend will be directed by a French director, Charles de Meaux, who co-produced ‘Uncle Boonmee’, awarded with the ‘Golden Palm’ prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Mr. de Meaux is also known as the director of such movies as ‘Stretch (2010)’ and ‘Stories on Human Rights (2008)’. He is the co-founder of Anna Sanders Films.
Mr. de Meaux said “Unlike Lorelei or Ariel, who are the mermaids of the West, I was quite intrigued by the story of mermaid in Asia, as well as the fact that the legend was well preserved with detailed contents.” He then added, “The film will utilize the 3D holographic sound system, which has never been used in Korea and very few times worldwide, creating artistic sounds and imageries.”
3D holographic sound system is a new kind of sound system with which the direction of the sound moves to all directions, allowing viewers to feel as if they are in the actual scenes. Charles de Meaux’s team traveled all over the world to collect sounds and images of seven most famous seas in the world, including the Dead Sea, Greenland, Capri, and Busan, which will be woven into the story of Shinjike to create a unique and extraordinary images and sounds that will be run in the Expo Digital Gallery (EDG).
Chairman Dong-suk Kang of the Organizing Committee said, “Shinjike legend is not well known even to Koreans, and we were quite surprised and pleased when Mr. de Meaux suggested that he would make a movie out of it. We expect it will be a beautiful and artistic short film.” Once the film is shown at the EDG, it will make a considerable impact on the audio and movie industries in Korea.
The EDG is a marine culture facility which will be built to be 415 meter in length and 21 meter in width. The LED ceiling of the EDG, integrating the state-of-the-art IT with lighting equipments, will display not only the clips produced by the Organizing Committee but also carefully selected movies by Korean and foreign directors on its Open Platform.
– The Statue of Shujuke Mermaid –
▲The Statue of Shinjike mermaid,who is the guardian of Geomun-do, is now located in Geomun-do Mermaid Sea Park. (Source: Yeosu City)
– Expo Digital Dallery (EDG)-
▲The Expo Digital Gallery will be constructed along the central promenade of the International Pavilion. The EDG will be 415 meter in length and 21 meter in width.
▲ A famous French movie director, Charles de Meaux will make a short movie based on the legend of Shinjike mermaid, which will be run in the EDG.
Note: The legend of Shinjike Yeo Mermaid
< The legend of Shinjike yeo mermaind >
The legend says of the Shinjike Yeo (the reef of Sinji beach) mermaid who appears at Yeo Reef from which Noksan Lighthouse of Geomun-do can be seen at night with bright moon light or when there is a storm in the sea. She usually sings when appears, and if she throws rocks into the sea, it indicates an upcoming storm.
* Ke and Yeo respectively mean the ‘beach’ and ‘reef’ in Korean.
At the western end of the beach between Noksan Lighthouse and Nose Rock (Kobawi), there is a submerged reef on which a woman is seen with long hair only to disappear soon. Local people sometimes call the rocks as the ‘Seal Rock,’ or Shinjike Yeo, meaning a place where Shinjike mermaid appears from time to time. The creature looks like a woman with a pretty face and beautiful body above the waist, while the rest of the body looks like the tail part of a fish.
When there is an upcoming storm or the weather gets bad, the mermaid shows up and sings a song while throwing rocks to the sea. When there is Shinjike mermaid and throws the rocks into the sea, there will be a serious storm coming up right away.
When the mermaid appears, the fishers hurry back to the port. Those who do not listen to her would face death. The mermaid was like a guardian to the fishers of Geomun-do, who were protected from the storms by the mermaid from time to time.
As a result, the fishers visited the reef where the mermaid appeared every year and gave a Jesa (a ritual for the deceased in Korea) to pay tribute to the mermaid.
* Shinji: She was once the queen of Inoki Island, Kyushu of Japan. She fell in love with Seo-bok, who was on a mission to find the ‘Medicine of Immortality’ ordered by the government of ‘Han’ Dynasty, and followed him to Geomun-do. The legend continues that, when they were stranded, Shinji died and became a mermaid, who waited for Seo-bok sitting on Yeo Rock (Source: a folk lore in Geomun-do).