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Jumping into the future of technology: Interactive exhibits and events spotlight innovation

Oct 08,2019
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Audi Volkswagen Korea’s free exhibition “The Next Chapter” showcases some of its latest technologies. [KIM EUN-JIN]
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LG U+’s art gallery in Gongdeok Station, central Seoul, comes to life with help from a smartphone. [YONHAP]
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Left: Works by artist JE BAAK are displayed in a media art exhibition at the Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul. Middle: Supercell Lounge will open on Oct. 17 and welcome fans to play and compete. Right: NCSoft is hosting the fourth Fever Festival this Oct. 27 at Olympic Park, where the likes of Mamamoo, Sunmi and Beenzino will perform. [HYUNDAI MOTOR, SUPERCELL KOREA, NCSOFT]
Korean companies take corporate social responsibility seriously. One of the most popular methods taken by the companies in recent years has been through so-called mecenat projects, or art patronage. Combining culture and social responsibility seems to especially attract tech-savvy companies in Korea, perhaps because it can both help the community while also challenging the image that tech companies are somewhat colorless and stiff. Using their latest technologies, some tech companies in Korea are inviting the general public to their galleries to enjoy state-of-the-art exhibitions, virtual reality and even performances from K-pop stars.

The following are some of the ongoing or upcoming exhibitions and concerts hosted by companies in Korea selected by the Korea JoongAng Daily.



Audi’s The Next Chapter

As a leading motor company, the Volkswagen Group is pursuing many ambitious projects to introduce its autonomous cars and an innovation in electric mobility.

At a free interactive exhibition at the JCC Art Center in central Seoul, Audi Volkswagen Korea is showing off their plans of the future.

“The Next Chapter” begins on the first floor with a heart-warming animation that follows the life of one family through the decades, showing how evolving models of Volkswagen cars have played an inseparable role in their lives.

The fourth floor holds the main contents of the exhibition, including a virtual reality-experience zone that allows visitors to test how it feels to be riding an autonomous vehicle. Some of Volkswagen’s latest models featured at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show are also displayed on video.

The second floor is wholly dedicated to kids. This area teaches children how autonomous cars actually operate.

Here, they can program self-driving Ozobots and challenge themselves to react as quickly as autonomous cars by playing a game on the “Reaction Wall.”

The exhibition runs daily through Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. English tours are provided at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Those who wish to participate are encouraged to email avk.thenextchapter@gmail.com ahead of their visit.



LG U+ 5G Gallery

Telecommunications giant LG U+ has teamed up with Seoul Metro and Google to turn Gongdeok Station, one of the busiest stations in central Seoul, into an open gallery fueled by 5G technology.

Works of art are located on subway platforms and even inside the cars themselves. At first glance they may just appear like pieces at any other gallery - an oil painting of a dancer or an acrylic piece of a garden, for example - but they come to life when you place your smartphone over them.

Viewers only need to open the “Google Lens” app - or the Google App for iPhones - and the dancer on the display will suddenly start moving on the phone screen, accompanied by music and a description of the work. The motions appear even more dynamic for U+5G phone users, who can use their U+ AR (augmented reality) app to see figures jump out of the displays and prance around the platform. Actual street dancers, ballerinas and mimes were filmed using 360 degree cameras at LG U+’s AR Studio.

“There are so many advertisements for plastic surgery, K-pop idols and games in subway platforms. We were fortunate to work with the Seoul government, who also wanted to display more cultural content in the metro,” said Seo Kyung-jong, creative director for the gallery.

A pop-up gallery near Gongdeok station’s line No. 6 features art as well as some of LG U+’s latest gadgets like their dual screen 5G phones, which visitors can try out.

Many of the works on show were created by artists who have physical impairments or paralysis who paint using their mouths or feet.

The gallery runs through Feb. 29. Most works are on display near line No. 6.



NCSoft’s Fever Festival

Gaming giant NCSoft is hosting its fourth Fever Festival this Oct. 27 at Olympic Park, continuing its annual tradition of staging free performances from some of the hottest K-pop stars.

This year, Mamamoo, Sunmi, Beenzino and Exo’s Sehun and Chanyeol are set to grace the stage. The festival expands on one of the company’s goals to “connect the world through fun,” and attracted over 4,000 people to last year’s show.

The second round of tickets will become available on booking site Ticketlink today at 2 p.m.

Along with Fever Festival, NCSoft is also hosting the Intel Blade & Soul Tournament World Championship on Oct. 26 at the same venue, where e-sports teams from Korea, Thailand and Russia, among others, will play against each other in Blade & Soul for a grand prize of 60 million won ($49,880). The game is one of the developer’s most popular creations. Fans who want to watch the battles live can purchase tickets at Ticketlink for 8,000 won.



Supercell Lounge

The Korean office of Supercell, the Finnish game developer behind Brawl Stars and Clash Royale, will soon make fans’ dreams come true with the launch of Supercell Lounge on Oct. 17.

At the Lounge, located on the fifth and sixth floors of WeWork’s Sinsa branch in southern Seoul, visitors can not only enjoy gaming in the cozy seating areas like it’s their living room, but they can also book spaces for free to meet up with other Supercell fans and hold tournaments. Skilled players will be on standby to offer advice or play a match.

There is even a play zone where visitors can create Supercell game characters using clay, and a recording room where they can stream their gameplay live if they make reservations ahead of their visit.

There is no entry fee and visitors only have to show that they have at least one of the five Supercell mobile games available in Korea downloaded on their phones.

Korea is the first country where Supercell has opened such a space. The Supercell Lounge will be open from Thursdays to Sundays. Visitors 14 and older can enter from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., while entry will be limited to visitors who are 19 and older after 7 p.m.



Hyundai gets creative

As one of Korea’s largest conglomerates, Hyundai hosts diverse cultural events throughout the whole year.

The retro-themed “Hyundai Theater” is open through Oct. 13 in Jeonju’s Hanok Village in North Jeolla. Activities include an escape room challenge, screenings of Korean films from the 1960s and displays of Hyundai classics like the Pony and the Sonata.

At the Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, the company is hosting a media art exhibit titled “RE-VIS-IT” through Oct. 27, featuring works by artist JE BAAK, who explores the relationship between humans and machines.

“We plan on offering more opportunities for artists to showcase works based on our respect for their spirit of experimentation,” said a Hyundai spokesperson. “We will also continue to enrich customers’ lives.”

BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]