[4 days to go] The Host Country’s Pavilion: Theme Pavilion

The Theme Pavilion which is Korea’s first offshore pavilion delivers the Expo Theme (the Living Ocean and Coast) in obvious ways. Ranging from its appearance to exhibition contents including performance, this pavilion stresses the co-existence between the ocean and humans with through delivering messages related to the value of ocean. The appearances from the ocean and from the coast are different – when looked from the ocean, the building embodies an island in the middle of the sea and when looked from the land, it embodies a sperm whale. The Theme Pavilion has gills-shaped kinetic façade on the outer wall, enabling visitors to feel like they are watching a living shark’s gills.

<An island in the middle of the sea><Oceanic view of the Theme Paviion>

  <A swimming sperm whale>           <Land view of the Theme Pavilion>

     < Shark with gills>               <Kinetic Façade of the Theme Pavilion>

The Theme Pavilion consists of 3 exhibition halls and some symbolic artifacts. On the outside, there is a “Giant Clam” which is endangered and it interacts with visitors by changing its color for 93 days. The lobby has the oceanic panoramic media wall which presents films regarding Woods Hole Oceanopgraphy Institution (at Massachusetts in USA) and Korea Antarctic King Sejong Station. Especially, visitors can talk to researchers from Korea Antarctic King Sejong Station using a communicative display.

The first exhibition hall, “The Value of the Sea,” helps visitors understand the ocean’s hidden value and capability which humans did not know/recognize before and look the ocean once again. The coast is a major human habitation where over 70% of the humanity lives and the ocean is a repository in that around 80% of the terrestrial life forms live.

The second exhibition hall, “Sea under Threat,” helps visitors to be aware of acidifying ocean (where marine lives disappear), the rise in sea level due to melting glacier (which badly affects the nature and the humanity), the abnormal climate (due to global warming), and marine wastes (which destroys the marine ecosystem). Its design motif came from mangrove which are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics. Mangrove has an excellent capacity to eliminate CO2.  Visitors can meet an analogue space where the whole space is designed as mangrove.

The third exhibition hall, “Happy Vision of the Human & the Sea,” presents what experts and the public imagine as the future aspect of human lives and ocean. This exhibition helps visitors to learn the hopeful future where humans and the ocean co-exist in a happy way.

Besides, this pavilion’s main show, “A Spring of Lives,” delivers a message on the co-existence between the humanity and the sea through a story of friendship between a boy and a dugong (originated from ‘Duyong’ which is a mermaid in Malay). Dugong is a large marine mammal which is endangered and is also called as Sea Cow. Sea adventure which a boy and a marine organism are making is ready to attract visitors through strong and vivid images.

<One scene of A “Spring of Lives” where a boy and dugong communicate>