Banpo Park’s Floating Island and Its Colorful Personalities
On these humid summer nights, hundreds of Seoulites and international tourists line up by the bank of the Han River at Banpo Park. Why? The reason is popular. And colorful. Night after night, the Banpo Fountain Bridge never fails to attract admirers to watch it dance, change color and mesmerize. And especially during the weekend, families, couples and photographers all over Seoul gather at the Banpo Park to enjoy and capture its performance. But if there is a colorful dancing fountain on one side of the Banpo Bridge, there is also the Floating Island the other side that competes with the fountain’s display of the color spectrum. Seoul’s Floating Island is actually composed of three islets: Viva, Vista and Terra. While during the day, the Floating Island looks like a mere venue for a cafe, a restaurant and other events by the Han River, at night, right after dusk, the Island’s LED lights turn the floating structures into another attraction at Banpo Park. And on the weekend when I ventured into the Banpo Park to watch some friends sweat and dance at their monthly Zumba party and picnic, I stayed behind to capture the changing colors of the Island. I have already seen and took photographs of the Banpo Fountain Bridge several times before (and even won a prize for its photo). This time, I just let the thousands of other people get mesmerized by the fountain as I stood on the other side of the bridge, also by the bank, and joined a smaller crowd of kids and their parents also gazing at the Floating Island as it slowly put on different colors. And each time the LED lights gradually switched from one color to the next starting from the ground floor going up, the structure seemed to also change personality and character. While the popular fountains on the other side are playful with their synchronized dancing and music, the Floating Island is charming, serious, romantic and vogue, depending on its color.