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Festival weaves a royal web.

Swathed in what appears to be filaments from a monstrous web, downtown Seoul looks like it's under attack from a giant spider. The reality, of course, is rather less apocalyptic. Strung between buildings and scaffolding towers, the gracefully swooping strips of fabric are a quick way to jazz up a humdrum plaza for Hi Seoul, the South Korean capital's annual arts festival.

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This year's jamboree explored the relationship between environment, humankind and technology. Jang Yoon Gyoo of UnSangDong Architects was the festival's design director and came up with the idea of a super-scale urban installation in Seoul Plaza inspired by the traditional sunshades found on Korean palaces.

Historically, these were reserved for royalty and commoners could be punished for using them. But this is a creation for more egalitarian times. 60 strips of lightweight, double-layered PVC were used to form a kind of ruptured web suspended over the plaza. Rolls of fabric, some of which were 200m long, were anchored at one end and gradually unspooled from cranes. The strips have a delicate, gauzy translucency, like rice paper. Or spider silk.

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Title Annotation:SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Nov 1, 2009
Words:187
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