Gone are the days when outdoor advertising spaces were solely used for advertisements. Surprisingly, even the largest digital billboard in South Korea doesn’t feature ads for luxury brands as one would expect. Instead, it now displays stunning visual art that comes in the form of virtual ocean waves. These waves continuously rear up and crash onto the surface of the screen, creating a massive anamorphic illusion.
The giant waves appear on the LED façade of the SMTown Coex Artium in Seoul. Aptly titled “WAVE,” the project is a part of digital media tech company d’strict’s series of public media art installations. The company takes pride in designing and delivering breathtaking visual content via digital out-of-home media. According to a company representative, Sean Lee, the project aims to evoke feelings of comfort amidst the ongoing pandemic.
“The Wave serves as a sweet escape and brings comfort and relaxation to people.
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, a trip to the beach might seem like a distant dream
At 80.8 meters wide and 20.1 meters high, the screen measures nearly four times the size of a basketball court. As such, it has become a popular platform for advertising placements, K-pop video streaming, as well as digital art displays. The fact that it’s located in one of the cities’ most prominent establishments makes it the perfect canvas for d’strict’s artwork.
“Samseong-dong, Seoul—the place where the COEX K-pop Square is located—is notorious for its traffic, people are always busy, and we thought of delivering a special surprise for passers-by.”
So, digital media tech company d’strict decided to bring the refreshing waves of the ocean straight to the city
The stunning visual art employs the use of anamorphic illusion, transforming the city’s largest digital billboard into a giant aquarium
Aside from housing the country’s largest digital billboard, SMTown Coex Artium is also highly popular among K-pop fans. The venue holds various exhibitions and offers unique experiences related to the country’s largest entertainment company, SM Entertainment. As such, the location has also garnered the title “K-pop Square,” which is a nod to New York’s Times Square.
Overall, the project took four months to complete, including three months of design work to ensure its desired effect. Lee revealed that achieving such a magnificent masterpiece also posed some serious challenges.
As the display featured an anamorphic illusion, it was important to consider visuals and expressions that can minimize distortion. This helps maintain a sense of reality, despite viewing the content from different angles. However, the most challenging part for the team was simulating a surface that corresponds to the ceiling. This entailed conducting several field tests on the actual LED screen to get the best 3D stereoscopic view from multiple angles.
Witness the majestic waves in motion via the video below
In addition to “WAVE,” d’strict has also created numerous projects that highlight the use of immersive technology in digital art. These include leading tire manufacturer Nexen Tire’s “The Infinity Wall,” installed at their new R&D center dubbed Nexen UniverCity. On top of that, d’strict is also responsible for the interactive visual experience and display at Cafe.Bot and Lotte World Magic Circle.
Here are more of d’strict’s fascinating digital artworks involving the use of immersive technology