Old Seoul Station to become live theatre

Old Seoul Station to become live theatre

The former Seoul Station building will turn into a big live theatre where artists, dancers and musicians will present a variety of arts performances that pay tribute to the history of the place.

Each room of the historic building will be dedicated to live performances and interactive exhibitions from Nov. 14 to 30 as part of the seasonal programme of Culture Station Seoul 284, the current name of the space.

Seoul Station was built by a Japanese architect in 1925 during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) and was the major train station in Seoul.

It closed in January 2004 when a new train station building was completed to accommodate a growing number of passengers. The old building, now registered as a historic site by the government, opened again in 2011 to serve as a cultural space.

The second floor of the former Seoul Station, the former location of the first Western-style restaurant in Korea, will be serving meals again during the event period.

The meals will be available only five times during the event period for guests selected through a social media event. The dining experience will be accompanied by a dance performance and live broadcast of the eight-hour cooking and dining process.

Every step of the process will be recorded - from shopping for groceries, cooking the food and serving the meals to cleaning up the dishes - and aired during the exhibition period. The dining and performance will take place on Nov. 15, 16, 26, 29 and 30.

"The old Seoul Station building has been an inspirational place for artists and performers. They have come up with great shows and displays. Audiences will be able to experience a whole new level of performances and exhibitions that are different from those taking place in traditional settings," said Kim Seo-ryoung, director of the cultural programme "Memory of Space."

Sound designer Yang Yong-jun and audio engineer Lee Kyung-hwan will stage an interactive sound performance, "Memory of Sound," that will combine old stories about Seoul Station and real-time conversations of audience members.

The spontaneous mix of different sound from the past and the present will be played through 36 speakers placed around the building.

Visitors will be given a map or create their own route to explore every corner of the space. Installations and objects placed by the creative group Noni will reveal old memories of the former Seoul Station, represented by a small train model circling around the space and a model of a shoeshine boy from the Japanese colonial era.

The VIP lounge for train passengers will turn into a water stage where audience members will need to wear boots to watch performances.

Different types of performances will be conducted throughout the event period. Due to the small size of the lounge, the number of audience members will be limited to 40 per performance.

Reservations for the event opened on Wednesday on www.seoul284.org. For more information, call (02) 3407-3502/3512.

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