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8.20.2018

Seoul Searching | Art, Architecture, and All Things Hallyu at Digital Media City.

If you're a KDrama fan who enjoys visiting filming locations, or a KPop fan who wants to take part in music programs and take a chance at seeing your favorite KPop group perform live, then it is imperative that you include Digital Media City in your Seoul itinerary.

Located in Sangam-dong in the district of Mapo, Digital Media City is an industrial cluster of world-class digital media and entertainment companies. This area was constructed in 2006 across 140 acres of land, with aims of becoming the new epicenter for Korean wave (otherwise known as Hallyu) content and production.

On our most recent trip to Seoul, Yue and I got to experience Hallyu on a totally different level as we explored Digital Media City - its vicinity, the buildings located in the area, and the ultra-modern sculptures for which this place is also known for.
'Square M-Communication', sculpture by Young Ho Yoo.
Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum in Kill Me, Heal Me.
Case in point, the Square M-Communication - a gigantic sculpture smack dab in the middle of DMC's Sangam Cultural Square. An artwork that represents the symbolic meeting of people through the use of media, this sculpture made a special appearance in the 2015 movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. This landmark was also seen in Korean dramas such as I'm Not a Robot, Pinocchio,  and Kill Me, Heal Me - one of my favorite Kdramas of all time.
'They', sculpture by Lee Jin Joon.
Yoon Shi Yoon in The Best Hit.
More of Digital Media City after the jump!
Another interesting piece of art is the sculpture by Lee Jin Joon, which has been featured in KDramas such as The Best Hit, The Liar and His Lover, and Are You Human Too? Known as 'They', this sculpture showcases the head of a woman looking up to the sky and the head of a man looking down to the ground. Illuminated at night, this artwork gives a stunning effect as the two heads appear to be embracing each other.
Architecture at its finest at Digital Media City.
When it comes to architecture, Digital Media City is nothing short of amazing. The glass buildings are breathtakingly beautiful, with each structure highlighting its own unique concept.
SBS Prism Tower.
The SBS Prism Tower, for instance, has a shiny facade that reflects the skies and gives the building a different look and feel as the seasons change. A landmark of the Sangam DMC neighborhood, this building has been featured in several episodes of Running Man, and has been used as filming locations for KDramas such as Jealousy Incarnate, Temperature of Love, and Beautiful Gong Shim.
The 'shiny' building.
The lobby of the SBS Prism Tower is open to the public.
Sitting in the heart of DMC is the YTN Building, with its glossy glass walls accentuated by graceful, curved lines. Plastered on the front of the building is a huge LED screen which airs news real time; on the other side of the building stands a majestic sundial which has been used as a backdrop in Kdramas such as Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food, Black Knight, and Oh My Ghostess.
The YTN Building and the huge LED screen in front.
Although this was not Yue's first time to see a sundial - having seen one at Changgyeonggung Palace and another at Gwanghwamun Square in our previous trips - he was amazed nonetheless, by the sheer size of this edifice.
The sundial, which left my son in awe.
Another eye-catching structure is the MBC Mall Plaza, a glistening silver building that looks like a blimp on one side and a toadstool from another angle. This visually arresting structure houses restaurants such as Mad for Garlic, Burger King, and Starbucks, as well as cosmetics shops such as Olive Young and Aritaum
MBC Mall Plaza.
MBC Mall Plaza, from another angle.
Situated right across the MBC Mall Plaza is the MBC Building, which houses MBC World - Korea's first Hallyu theme park. For a minimal fee (18000 won for adults, 9000 won for children), visitors get to experience the Korean wave in a whole new level.
MBC World.
KDrama fans get to relive scenes from popular MBC period dramas such as Moon Embracing the Sun and Scholar Who Walks the Night, and even try on costumes that were used in the said programs. If broadcasting is your thing, you can take a stab at being a news anchor by reading a news script out loud, in front of a camera, inside a real newsroom.
Inside the MBC Building.
KPop fans are also in for a treat as they get to enjoy hologram performances of Big Bang and PSY or get to learn dance moves from the idols and dance on stage alongside them!
Big Bang at MBC World.
Speaking of performances, Digital Media City is also home to some of the country's most popular music programs - MBC's Music Core which airs every Saturday at 3:15 PM KST and CJ E&M's MNet M!Countdown which airs every Thursday at 7:30 PM KST.
The CJ E&M Center where M!Countdown is filmed and aired live.
Apparently, the throng of people at the back were fans waiting in line for the MNet M! Countdown.
On our first visit to Digital Media City, we chanced upon a throng of people lined up in front of the CJ E&M Center. I had a hunch that celebrities could be coming (because what other reason could there be for girls between the ages of 15-25 to be concentrated in this area), until I finally realized that it was Thursday that day, and M!Countdown would be airing in the evening. Ergo, idol groups in the house!
SHINee performing at Music Core.
On our second trip to Digital Media City (just two days after the first visit), we chanced upon SHINee's comeback stage on Music Core shown live on the huge LED screen in front of the MBC Building.

BTS, who also performed on Music Core that day, was the main reason why Yue and I cancelled our plans of going to Gangnam and went to DMC on a whim. I heard from a friend that BTS will be having a fan meeting that day at Sangam Nuri Dream Square, and maybe, just maybe, we could get a glimpse of the Bangtan Boys. 
Waiting for you Anpanman...
We waited in front of this building for about an hour or so, but no signs of V or J-Hope showing up. Turns out, the boys were already inside for their fan meeting and have used a different entrance to get to the venue. Most of the fans were overly disappointed, but I was cool about it. Hey, at least, I got to experience this level of fangirling, in Korea at that. 
Star Park.
Even Yue didn't seem to mind that we pretty much waited for nothing, lol. He was just happy to be back in Digital Media City, which Yue refers to as 'one cool playground'. I can't argue with that. :)
MBC Building, where the MBC Garden Studio is situated.
Some sort of art installation - tin man riding a bull.
With my favorite vampire, Kim Sung Yeol.
Hand print of my most favorite Korean actor, Lee Joon Gi.
Hand print of my most favorite Korean actress and forever girl crush, Yoon Eun Hye.

Yue taking a break at one of the installations in Sangam Cultural Square.
This was after an hour or so of waiting for BTS to show up, lol. 
To get to Digital Media City, take Digital Media City Station (Line 6 or AREX Line), Exit 9. 

Digital Media City
366, World Cup buk-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 
+82-2-309-7067


15 replies:

Jessica Welling Interiors said...

Wow this looks like a cool place to visit! I love the prism tower and all the outdoor art is fun.

Monidipa said...

Digital Media City is so amazing when it comes to architecture, I would love to visit it one day. All the pics are so amazing. Loved it ..!!

Preet said...

I never really thought about going to the South Korea before, it looks beautiful though. May need to add it to my want to do list.

Karlyn Cruz said...

Wow! This is a great place to visit. Loved the concept they put up in this place. I may say everything is awesome and we will learn a lot.

Nancie said...

I love the art and sculpture around the building. I always enjoyed looking for street art when I lived in Seoul.

Geraline Batarra said...

I have never been in this place but I would love too. Seoul, Korea is definitely a nice place to visit here in Asia, will definitely add this to my bucket list.

Christa Anne said...

I love the architecture and outdoor art sculptures. This looks like a great place to visit!

Lindsay said...

My goodness, it looks like there is so much to see here! I especially loved the "They" sculpture. Very thought-provoking and intense. Thanks for the travel inspiration!

Tosha23 said...

Love all the awesome art work outside so modern and your explained it so well! Would love to see this in person someday. I’m sure u enjoyed it.

Cecilia Harvard said...

This architecture is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing!

Elizabeth O said...

This looks like a great place to visit. The architecture looks amazing and the art is so fun.

Nandita said...

Seoul, especially Digital Media City really looks like One cool playground : ) All that blue sky reflected on the glass facade of buildings around is really beautiful.
- Nandita

Alexis said...

What a beautiful city, I'd love to visit one day.

gladys nava said...

WOW! I love those pictures that captures, it's stunning! And the art are really incredible, so unique! It looks so much there!

SkinnyGirl Diariez said...

So modern, love the city vibe you have shared. on my bucket list :P