Image of Donuimun Gate Restored through AR
Donuimun Gate (Source: Seoul Museum of History)
Donuimun Gate, which was forcefully dismantled by the Japanese Empire in 1915, will come back to citizens thanks to AR (augmented reality) & VR (virtual reality) technologies after 104 years. Donuimun Gate, also called Seodaemun Gate, was completed in 1396. It went through several reconstructions and was dismantled because of road expansion according to the urban plan in 1915, during the Japanese colonial period. It was the large west gate of the four gates in Hanyang (historical name of Seoul) in the Joseon period, but now there is not even a trace.
What is remarkable in this Donuimun Gate digital restoration project is that it lets visitors experience Donuimun Gate through AR and VR, cutting-edge technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, overcoming physical restrictions such as traffic jams and economic compensation that have been in the way of the gate’s restoration over the last 100 years.
When you download Donuimun AR (the mobile application for an AR experience of Donuimun Gate) and run the app on new Jeongdong Sageori, you can encounter how imposing Donuimun Gate looked from various angles. The strength of the app lies in that it enables you to appreciate diverse appearances of Donuimun Gate, as it offers more than four graphics depending the time of day.
Feasibility Study and Basic Plan for Donuimun Gate Restoration, published by the city of Seoul in 2010, includes the architectural technique used to build the gate, the historical research of its original location, and the plan for its restoration. Based on this, the completeness of the restoration was enhanced with the thorough investigation by experts and the participation of a company specializing in SFX.
In order to expand the experience of the digital representation of Donuimun Gate and encourage more tourists to visit Donuimun Museum Village, a three-floor experience center will be operated in the village. You can not only see a miniature of Donuimun Gate and the exhibition of old photos, but look around the surroundings of Donuimun Gate and climb the fortress in the Donuimun Gate VR zone.
The first floor of the experience center will exhibit a miniature of Donuimun Gate, photos showing its appearance in the past, and a video that tells about the history of Donuimun Gate and the process of its restoration. On the second and third floors, a VR zone will be run where you can experience Donuimun Gate through virtual reality. There are a total of eight VR devices in the VR zone. Seoul City has plans to offer more diverse content that will enable visitors to time travel to the Joseon Period when Donuimun Gate was first constructed or experience Hanyangdoseong, the Seoul City Wall, through VR.