A massive tank filled with crashing waves has appeared amongst the dense, urban landscape of Seoul, South Korea. While it can convincingly pass as an actual aquarium, the display is actually a huge anamorphic illusion.
The “aquarium” is set on the LED façade of Seoul’s SMTown COEX building, South Korea’s largest digital billboard. This is the site of a convention and exhibition center that also serves as a mall in the city’s Gangnam District. A large wave rears up and crashes onto the surface of the screen, giving the illusion that water is being contained within a giant container.
Titled, “WAVE”, the installation was designed by digital media technology company, d’strict, as part of their “Public Media Series”. According to CNN, “The project took four months to execute from start to finish, including three months of digital design work to make sure it achieved the desired effect.”
The screen, which measures approximately 80 by 20 meters (262 by 66 feet), is a popular platform for brand advertisements, especially K-pop content. The screen’s extensive set of high-definition smart LED displays help create a unified and coordinated image, which is essential in pulling off the crashing wave effect.
According to Jun Lee, Business Development Director at d’strict, “Our goal was to create an overwhelming experience using the beauty and dynamism of waves because they evoke feelings of comfort, which is much needed now.”
“WAVE” is the latest addition to d’strict’s portfolio, which includes a number of intriguing visual displays, including Cafe.bot and the Lotte World Magic Circle. Going forward, d’strict aims to create similar LED displays that tell different stories. The company is also looking at creating a library of pre-made visuals like “WAVE”, which could be licensed out to businesses for advertising and artistic purposes.