Have you heard of Yeosu 2012 Expo?

Do you know anything about it, or even its existence?

It is an international exposition recognized by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) to be held in Yeosu, South Korea which opened on May 12th this year and will run until to August 12th in the same year. This expo falls in different category when comparing to the previous Shanghai 2010 World Expo as this one focuses on a theme and so, the scale is much smaller. Hence, not many people would know about its existence, which is now indeed running and opened to public for visit.

The theme for the expo is ‘The Living Ocean and Coast’. So looking at the title itself is already self-explanatory of what the expo is all about; showcasing the essence of marine life and how current or future technology could contribute to that. The theme was divided into three sub-themes: Development and Preservation of the Ocean and Coast, New Resources Technology, and Creative Marine Activities. These sub-themes have been further developed into 6 thematic groups, namely, Climate & Environment, Marine Life, Marine Industry & Technology, Marine City and Marine Civilization, and Marine Arts, each of which are demonstrated in their respective sub-theme pavilions.

One of the main buildings of the expo is Korean Pavilion, the pavilion of the host nation with features of the Korean seas and the most notable achievements in shipbuilding, marine transportation, marine products, marine technology and marine safety in its exhibition hall. Next is the International Pavilion, occupying the largest area of all the exhibition facilities, is the exhibition site for participating countries to plan and hold their exhibitions with four themed blocs including: Sea of Life, Sea of Exchange, Sea of Peace, and Sea of Land. There is also a Theme Pavilion that stays strong to the core concept of The Living Ocean and Coast, which is “life” as it embraces not only space, time, culture, science technology, and occidental and oriental ideas but also the ecosystems and humankind.


Since the expo is mostly about marine life, there is a huge aquarium or formally known as Marine Life Pavilion. It shows the diversity of marine resources and viability of their continuous use and development. Visitors are shown the sea as a treasure house of biodiversity and, by highlighting our mutual relationship with the sea, an understanding of the importance of preserving the marine environment. The Expo town on the other hand, was to be developed as a main model of environmentally friendly coast city and used as a test bed of Green Home projects. It will be changed to ocean themed timeshares and premium dwelling places after the Expo.

Well, the main landmark of the expo site must be the Big-O. It is a huge floating steel sculpture of ‘O’ shape that represents the ‘ocean’ that sets the stage for various shows and performances in front (including fountain display) with the beautiful backdrop of the ocean. Even when you are away from the group and are lost in that huge expo site during visit, you can easily refer to Big-O as the meeting point. The clip below shows how the overall expo site looks like. From my perspective, everything looks contemporary and even futuristic in the design of the structures for the expo. Of course, everything looks so perfect in that computer rendering, but I think the excessive amount of empty plaza and pathway on the site would not actually invites a lot people to gather, sit or enjoy there. So I find that is a bit too much and unnecessary as seen from the clip. Instead, one huge main link to all structures in the expo is enough. That is just my opinion.

Well, my country, Malaysia did participate on this expo too with its own pavilion under the International Pavilion. But until now, I have no knowledge of how it looks like. Terrible, ordinary or amazing exhibit? Well, I didn’t expect a very good one looking at my country’s previous involvement in Shanghai 2010 World Expo with that ugly pavilion. I believe Malaysia couldn’t showcase much on this field as we are not so developed on this area comparing to many other developed countries. For more information regarding this international expo which is running now, browse through its website; http://eng.expo2012.kr/main.html?mobile_at=Y.


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