Last week, I displayed photos from my trip to Songdo, the new Free Economic Zone city built on the outskirts of Seoul near the Incheon International Airport. As I noted before, the city is something of a ghost town, an amalgamation of glass-and-steel skyscrapers but very little in the way of the human factor.
Here is a model of the future of the city presented at the Compact Smart City museum located in the middle of the development.
However, it was not the museum of the future city that was as strange as the institutions (if you can call them that?) that have taken up residence in the new city. The first is the Hello Kitty Studio and Play Land (or some marketing name like that). To get a sense of this place, you have to keep in mind that the entire city is a ghost town, except for this spot. I was able to walk up three-lane roads without passing cars, except right here at the Hello Kitty World, where there was actually traffic police directing cars to parking spots.
The strangest thing in Songdo was the artwork. I am not really an expert on public art in Korea, but this display of the entirety of the biblical story of Jesus (complete with a life-size Noah’s Arc) is something that is just unreal. I don’t know whether this existed before the city was built, or whether it was sponsored, but either way, it was truly one of those “really, was that actually Jesus” moments that people can get randomly.