Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Haechi, The Symbol Of Seoul

Hello Haechi!

Our fine stone friend is the official symbol of Seoul. He's a mythical beast, part lion, part dragon. His legend is as guardian of the old palace (as in the pic above) as well as justice in general. What's not to like?

The interesting part of Haechi is his recent rise to official symbol of Seoul. The mayor of the city is design-obsessed (a good thing) and he was upset that many world class cities have famous, known symbols, an Eiffel tower, the Big Apple, etc... Seoul needed to become a city with an icon, an iconic city. His director at the Design Planning Division chose Haechi in May 2008.  A star was born.

And a star born is a star reinterpreted. Since Seoul is all about design, it is not just dictating taste, but trying to incubate creativity. The city supplied the icon, now it's time to have some fun.

Hello old recycled bottle Haechi!

And hello multiple reinterpretations. The anvil-looking thing on the back in the left photo is the old palace. Someone seems to have gone to a bunny party.

A fantastic version, a play on classic Asian blue and white porcelain ware.

A couple of American influences: Miami tourist making the scene and a winking Superman. Winking?

Finally, Haechi isn't just for fun, he's for ubiquity. The cabs proudly display him. If you can't be a yellow cab, might as well promote the icon.

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