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(LEAD) Psy's Gangnam Style returns as a landmark bronze sculpture

2016/04/15 21:05

(ATTN: Changes photos; ADDS comments in para 10)

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- "Gangnam Style," a mega-hit song by South Korean pop star Psy, returned to Seoul on Friday in the form of a giant landmark sculpture.

The sculpture was unveiled to the public in an opening ceremony at 7 p.m. on the eastern patio of COEX, a multi-cultural complex in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul. The event was hosted and organized by the city's Gangnam Ward Office.

A Gangnam Style bronze sculpture, inspired by the mega-hit song "Gangnam Style" by South Korean pop star Psy, is revealed in the eastern patio of COEX in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap) A Gangnam Style bronze sculpture, inspired by the mega-hit song "Gangnam Style" by South Korean pop star Psy, is revealed in the eastern patio of COEX in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap)

The bronze sculpture, 5 meters high and 8 meters wide, is modeled after the signature horse-riding hand motion of the Gangnam Style dance. Looking from above, the giant hands appear to cover a globe. When it detects human motions through sensors, the landmark automatically turns on flashing lights and plays the Gangnam Style song.

The opening ceremony ran from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in three sections. In the first section, South Korean girl groups Fiestar, April and Lovelyz staged dance performances. After the landmark was unveiled, the dance stage saw Heize and Truedy, female hip hop singers who joined stardom via Mnet's hit music reality show "Unpretty Rapstar."

  

South Korean girl group Lovelyz performs on the dance stage in front of the Gangnam Style bronze sculpture in the eastern patio of COEX in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap) South Korean girl group Lovelyz performs on the dance stage in front of the Gangnam Style bronze sculpture in the eastern patio of COEX in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap)

The ceremony closed with an electronic DJ show led by Moon Jun-young, also known by his stage name Lee Hoo of K-pop boy band ZE:After, R&B singer and rapper Chunja and hip hop duo One Two. Former UKISS member Dongho and former Nine Muses leader Rana also stood in the DJ booth.

Gangnam Ward chief Shin Yeon-hee (10th from L) and distinguished guests pose before unveiling the Gangnam Style bronze sculpture in the eastern patio of COEX in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap) Gangnam Ward chief Shin Yeon-hee (10th from L) and distinguished guests pose before unveiling the Gangnam Style bronze sculpture in the eastern patio of COEX in the Gangnam Ward of southeastern Seoul on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap)

The construction of the Gangnam Style sculpture came as a result of the district's rising calls for a landmark with indigenous culture and history on par with the Charging Bull of Wall Street in New York City and Piccadilly Circus in London.

Gangnam Ward plans to throw cultural events every July in commemoration of Gangnam Style and the world hit song's contribution to the proliferation of Korean pop culture around the globe.

From May 4-8, the district administration is slated to hold a "C-Festival" with large-scale concerts and decorate the ward's special tourist zone. In October it will host another round of music events, tentatively named the "Gangnam Festival."

   "I will make the (Gangnam) special tourist zone a must-visit destination for travelers from all around the world," said Gangnam Ward chief Shin Yeon-hee.

"They say Paris set a goal to attract 100 million tourists. Gangnam Ward is not after the old '10 million by 2018' goal any more. Reaching 50 million will only be a matter of time," she added.

Gangnam Ward chief Shin Yeon-hee (L) and designer Hwang Man-suk, who designed the Gangnam Style bronze sculpture, pose in the eastern patio of COEX in Gangnam Ward, southeastern Seoul, on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap) Gangnam Ward chief Shin Yeon-hee (L) and designer Hwang Man-suk, who designed the Gangnam Style bronze sculpture, pose in the eastern patio of COEX in Gangnam Ward, southeastern Seoul, on April 15, 2016. (Yonhap)

jwc@yna.co.kr

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