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  • Seoul builds an ‘Cartoon Street’ in Myeongdong, Namsan areas

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    – ‘Jaemiro,’ a 450m of animation street and ‘Jaemirang,’ multipurpose animation facility will open in downtown Seoul

    – While maintaining the originality of the street, city hopes to provide cartoon contents for citizens, tourists

    – ‘Jaemirang,’ a multipurpose culture facility provides exhibition halls, cartoon attic and a reference rooms

    – The city government expects a synergy effect for tourism industries and boost local economy


     

    (December 17) Seoul Metropolitan Government said that it has transformed the street of 450m around Toegye-ro into a characteristic and dynamic area, introducing the elements of animation and cartoon. Animation and cartoon is an important cultural content and a leading future growth engines for tourism and entertainment industries.

    ‘Jaemiro,’ which is the name of the newly transformed animation street, uses animation as its medium to promote communication among citizens and tourists. City also created  ‘Imagination park’ near Gate 3 of Myeongdong Subway Station allowing people to stop by and take a rest, enjoying the aspects of animation decoration. ‘Imagination park’, which is the beginning point of Jamiro, attracts many citizens and tourists with the images of Korean popular drama and its original cartoons.

    ‘Jaemirang’, a multipurpose cultural facility in Jaemiro, opens on December 19 and will hold special exhibitions of Korea’s prominent cartoon and webtoon artists. Also, the facility will provide space to artists and animation fans.

    ‘Animation hill’ utilizes Namsan’s retaining wall and displays famous characters of cartoons of 40 dominant artists, including Lee Hyunse, Heo Youngman and Hwang Mina. Also, 9 artists who are leading the current webtoon-era in Korea, presents their cartoons and life stories.

    During the exhibition, citizens can participate in a variety of events, such as ‘Artists talk show’ which promotes the communication between the artists and readers, ‘Cartoon concert’, in which cartoon artists will be drawing pictures listening to the music played by indie bands and finally a ‘Public airing of artists’ via Internet broadcasting.

    Seoul Metropolitan Government in the future plans to build a database in order to find various materials for cartoons, which have played as OSMU(One Source Multi Use) for making dramas, films and musicals. The city government will invite experts to give lectures, provide consulting and biz-matching services, considering the demand for new business models from the artists.

    From year 2014, the city government is planning to open ‘Animation Art Markets’ in which everyone can participate and sell cartoon-related products and ‘Shops opened by artists’ which apply the concept of cartoons to the existing commercial industry. The aim of these projects is to vitalize the animation street.

    Seoul Metropolitan Government expects that the building of the animation street will boost tourism around Namsan areas with Myeongdong, a shopping mecca, National Theater of Korea, a cultural attraction and Chungmu Art Hall as a cultural tourism belt. At the same time, it hopes that street provides many people an opportunity to experience and purchase domestic cultural contents and products and helps to boost the local economy.

    Han Moon-chul, in charge of culture and tourism at Seoul Metropolitan Government said that Korean cartoons have limitless imagination and create a synergy effect of expanding domestic cartoon and tourism industries and boosting local economy, combining with Namsan, a landmark of Seoul and Myeongdong, one of famous tourist attractions. He focused that the city government would make an effort to build the area as one of the world-wide tourist destinations through governance-based projects in which local residents, local businesses and cartoon industry co-operate together.