SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 20, 2019 — Donuimun, one of the eight gates in the Hanyangdoseong (Seoul City Wall) that was forcefully demolished under the Japanese colonial rule in 1915, is restored through digital technologies in 104 years. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced its plan to unveil Donuimun that was restored via augmented reality and virtual reality after its successful project for its digital restoration in collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Administration, Woomi Construction and Cheil Worldwide Inc.
Donuimun, dubbed also as Seodaemun, was constructed in 1396. Since then, it had gone through reconstruction several times. In 1915, it was demolished during the Japanese colonial rule for the reason of road expansion. It was a big gate on the west side out of the four gates in Hanyangdoseong. Not a vestige of the gate remains now.
In this background, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold an opening ceremony of the IT-construction of Donuimun at the original site of it at 10am on August 20. Participants include Mr. Taewung KANG, the Vice-Mayor I for Administrative Affairs, President Seokjun LEE of Woomi Construction and President Jeongkeun YOO of Cheil Worldwide. The ceremony covers a tour of “Donuimun IT Gate experience hall, and AR & VR experience programs.
The Donuimun Digital Restoration Project aims to overcome the realistic limitations, such as traffic jam and compensation issues that had been obstacles to the restoration of the gate over the last 100 years. This project also enables to experience Donuimun via AR and VR, the cutting-edge technologies of the 4th industrial revolution.
In December 2018, the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Cultural Heritage Administration, Woomi Construction, and Cheil Worldwide Inc. signed an agreement for the project to restore cultural heritages via digital technologies and promote Seoul as a historical and cultural city. Based on the agreement, the project has been underway for the last nine months. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Cultural Heritage Administration took the main responsible for the project; and Woomi Construction proposed the project and provided funding while Cheil Worldwide performed the restoration via AR & VR and built the experience hall.
Anyone can download the mobile app for Donuimun AR and play it in the area of Jeongdong intersection to enjoy a magnificent virtual view of Donuimun at multiple angles. Depending on the timeline, over four different graphics are displayed to show diverse looks of the gate.
At the same time, a kiosk installed on the sidewalk of Jeongdong intersection provides brief information about the history and restoration process of the gate. Visitors can also find the images of the restored gate via AR on the 55 inch-sized screen of the kiosk.
The information provided includes the historic research on the gate’s construction method and the original location as well as the restoration plan of the Seoul Metropolitan Government published in 2010. Based on the plan, Professor Wangjik KIM of Myongji University, an advisor of the Cultural Heritage Administration, Professor Byeongguk JEONG of Dongguk University, an expert in traditional multicolored paintwork and other academics conducted a thorough historical investigation. In addition, companies with expertise in visual special effect participated in the initiative to increase the completion level of the restoration project.
Also, the three-story experience pavilion is run in the Donuimun Museum Village. It aims to expand the experience of IT restoration of Donuimun and increase the inflow of new tourists of the Village. Visitors can find “Donuimun diorama (mock-up)” and a photo exhibition displaying what it was in the past. The VR zone for the gate shows the view of surrounding areas of the gate and provides a vivid experience so that visitors can feel as if they are mounting the fortress in the reality. In the future, the VR contents will be diversified so that users can travel into the Joseon Dynasty when the gate was built and experience the Seoul City Wall area.
Director-General Yongtae JU of Tourism & Sports at the Seoul Metropolitan Government says, “Seoul is a historical city with 2,000 years of history and a global and modernized city. In this regard, this restoration project holds a great significance in that we can encounter the history in the past through the modern technology.” He added, “Starting with the Donuimun restoration project, we will keep developing new types of experience and tourism resources by combining cultural heritage and technology.”