Tuesday, January 12, 2010

experience nature within the city

091222_cowfish 091222_lionfish
"Experience Nature Within The City" is the tagline for COEX Aquarium.

These are the last set of pencil sketches from my recent trip to Korea. A sketch subject that I was not familiar with when the prolific Korean sketchers brought me to a large shopping mall across the Bongeunsa Temple on 22 Dec 2009. COEX MALL, is the largest shopping mall in Seoul, Korea. They brought me to the aquarium on the upper level of the mall and it was interesting to me that such a huge aquarium could be housed inside a big mall. As I started sketching and exploring the fishes, I was so impressed with the scale of the aquarium! It was huge! We walked through a seeminly frameless curved tunnel that passed through 2,000 tons of seawater. The automatic walkway in the tunnel took the visitors through big sharks, large turtles and other marine creatures. My favourite of all was the feeding session at the end of our visit. My Korean sketcher friends captured the act very well here and here.

Growing up in Singapore, my memory of an aquarium is so remote after my favourite Van Kleef Aquarium was closed in 1996 and demolished in 1998 at the foot of Fort Canning, River Valley Road opposite the current Novotal Hotel at Clark Quay.