Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Themed Pavilions~

(Apologies for the incredibly late entries! I have had a crazy week!) 

So after visiting the SKY tower, we decided that since it was already packed and there would be even more people coming on the Saturday, it would be best to get all the popular things done on the Friday. 

Flashing our press passes like pros, we walked into the LOTTE pavilion like we owned the place...I'm just joking! (but the press pass does have a secret-self confidence-inducing power!) 

This plus our high-vis press jackets gave us amazing queue-jumping powers

 The Lotte Pavilion itself was pretty nice and it had a nice welcome sign! ^-^ The pavilion opened with a rather peculiar performance (obviously child-orientated~) featuring 4 performers dressed up as...well, I'm not exactly sure what they were meant to be but a cross between cute insects and fairies...right. They sang, played some instruments and danced around interacting with the audience - I think this was to kill the time while the people ahead of us enjoyed the second part of the pavilion.  

The performers...I'm still not sure what their purpose was..?
 The main part of the pavilion involved riding in a huge air balloon...supposedly! We all entered this room that had been decorated to look like a hot air balloon (photography not allowed~ sorry guys!) In fact, it kind of was. We were surrounded by these enormous floor-to-ceiling screens that presented a mini-movie of us, in the hot air balloon, flying through different weather systems (even through the sea at one point!). With the floor moving, it felt very simulator-esque and I found my somewhat sceptical self laughing and swaying like the 5-year old next to me. What can I say? I'm young at heart! 

Next, it was on to the Hyundai Pavilion. I personally really liked the Hyundai Pavilion - it was well-presented, the staff were polite and aside from the people who glared at us with a mixture of understandable frustration/curiosity (who are they? why can they just skip the 90 minute queue?!),  everything was pretty awesome. 

It started with a little history lesson, taking us back to the beginning of the company's work in the automotive industry which was quite interesting. Suzy got really excited when she was able to find her first car among the display models~!  

While there's nothing particularly wrong, I love the English in's just cute~

I felt the Hyundai Pavilion was really well managed and overall, was very impressive. The main feature of the pavilion includes a wall made of blocks which protrude at different times to the beat of the backing track, to form specific words or do all sorts of things~ While it's very difficult to describe to someone who hasn't seen it, it's very exciting to watch and had the entire audience captivated from start to finish. 

Next, came the Daewoo Chosun Marine Robot Pavilion. I was really looking forwards to this one. I mean, who doesn't love robots? Anyone who has seen iRobot or any other somewhat-robot related films will secretly confess to wanting to get to know a robot or to have one (a nice one) as a friend. 

I have to say I left the Pavilion feeling rather unimpressed- especially compared to the professionalism of the other pavilions. Despite boasting one of the longest queue times in the entire Expo (aside from the aquarium), the pavilion was surprisingly lacking in any form of organisation. People ran in and crowded round very small platforms meaning many people couldn't even see and a lack of any kind of subtitles in any language for the majority of the performances rendered it incomprehensible to non-Korean speaking foreign visitors. 

Meeting one of the earlier robots - she's capable of holding a conversation and of movement. She blinks too. 

I, too, barely understood what was going on even though my Korean isn't bad. Somehow talking about robot technology was never a vocabulary topic in class...Obviously, we should be covering this, I'll take this up with the faculty when I'm back in London. 

I did, however, learn a new Korean word, which I heard frequently around the pavilion. 어굴하다. (o-gul-ha-da) which roughly translate to "to be not worth the time, not fair".....says it all really.  

Some things don't need subtitles - a robot football game. 
The main focus of the pavilion was actually looking at the extension of research into the use of robots to explore deep-sea territories. Robots can be used to lay power lines, gas pipes etc as well as the excavation of certain resources as well as the basic purpose of exploration. The photo below shows one of the robots used in under-sea building projects. He's huge! I don't even come up to his knee! 

After the somewhat-lacking robot pavilion, we moved onto the Samsung pavilion. Here, people also queued for at least an hour to see the performance. We, too, were made to wait albeit not half as long as most of the other guests...but we did have to stand in the wind and the rain! 
In the way I guess many of the queueing guests felt, I had high expectations when we were finally let in the pavilion. Unfortunately, my camera battery died just as we went in so I don't have any pictures to show you. 
The adjective that comes to mind is "nice". Nothing special, nothing particularly memorable..."nice". 

We entered the main section of the pavilion which is strangely reminiscent of a car park. A two and a half floored, concrete looking structure, overlooking an open area in the middle where 4 performers do a mix of ballet and acrobatics...I'm not sure with what purpose. A young girl comes in a dances around while a variety of images are projected onto the floor around her, she is joined by a man who seems to be dressed as the moon and two others...but I have no idea what they are meant to be..and together they dance around. 

I don't think anyone quite got it!

We all walked away thinking...and what does this have to do with the environment? 

Hyundai centred on it's history in the automotive industry, Daewoo Chosun looked to the future potential of using robots in deep sea exploration, I'm not quite sure what Lotte and Samsung were playing for...but it was fun! 

If you're going with kids, the Lotte pavilion is definitely most child friendly and will keep them well-entertained as will my favourite, the Hyundai pavilion.   ^-^ 

Just beware the queues! 

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