Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey  ::


9. Gangnam Square and Samsung D'Light

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Gangnam literally means ‘south of the river,’ and this district in South Korea’s capital lies along the banks of the Han, one of the country’s largest bodies of water. The Greater Gangnam Area is widely known for its heavily concentrated wealth and very high standard of living, which has been compared to cities such as Beverly Hills, California. The most significant indicator is its extremely expensive real estate. Seoul as a whole is known for its expensive housing prices—as of 2011, its average apartment cost approximately US$5,500 per m2—but the average price in Gangnam is almost twice as high which is 3.5 times the nationwide average.

"Gangnam Style" is a South Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed "class". The 2012 K-pop song "Gangnam Style" by South Korean entertainer Psy was inspired by, and its music video was shot in, the Gangnam District.The song and video's popularity increased international awareness of the district. In the music video, Psy can be seen dancing on top of the ASEM Tower with the Trade Tower in the background. Psy was born and raised in the district.

Gangnam is home to some of the largest Korean entertainment companies and TV stations. It was fascinating to see fans cluttered around the entrances of  company headquarters and studios in the hopes of seeing a famous Korean idol. 

By the Gangnam Station Exit 5 is a tribute to ‘Gangnam Style’ Here, tourists and locals can get on stage and record themselves dancing to ‘Gangnam Style’ while the music plays on loop in the background. We did a few dance moves on the stage but there was no music playing while we were there . . . and we were the only ones dancing. Since the air pollution in Seoul on that day was some of the worst we had seen in any of the Asian countries, our guide supplied us with face masks. We tried them but we had a hard time getting used to them and soon abandoned them. 
We spent some time exploring the district before entering the underground Gangnam Station shopping mall. 

Next stop was the high tech D'lite building.  Samsung D’light is an exhibition space that showcases the latest technology founded by Samsung. Along with other visitors we interacted with the technology on display.

Gangnam Station





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Future Possibilities Presented by Samsung Electronics 
Discover a new world of possibility with Samsung, and experience how much fun the future will be. Samsung d'light is an exhibition space built to let you have fun with Samsung's most innovative technologies. Find out something new about yourself and place yourself at the center of a whole new world that you build.

We received a wristband that kept track of our progress as we went through a cycle of interactive stations where we explored aspects of your personality. We went on to play a few games to create our world of the future. The staff were very friendly and directed us to displays on unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Wearable Tech and many technologies for home, office, and leisure use.

There were opportunities to test out Samsung's new technology, such as virtual reality headsets and interactive experiences. We played one game where you are on a very high floor of a skyscraper and have to walk out on a plank to pick up doughnuts and cake at the end of a plank! 

On the upstairs level there were rooms displaying new smart-home technology by Samsung, such as a fridge that alerts you when food is going bad, a wardrobe that simulates styles based on the clothing you own and a door bell that shows who is at the door on screens around the house! 





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Bill and Sue-On Hillman