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‘The Host’ creature sculpture in Han River park to be removed

By No Kyung-min

Published : April 18, 2024 - 15:08

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A monster sculpture located at Yeouido Han River Park (Newsis) A monster sculpture located at Yeouido Han River Park (Newsis)

A sculpture modeled after the mutated fish creature from Bong Joon-ho's 2006 film "The Host" is set for removal this year from Yeouido Han River Park due to its design clashing with the park's aesthetics, Seoul City announced Thursday.

The 3-meter-tall and 10-meter-long sculpture was installed in 2014 as part of an endeavor to enrich the area's cultural and tourist allure with a city budget of around 180 million won ($130,900).

Following a new urban design initiative led by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, aimed at enhancing the city's urban landscape, city officials have announced further plans to conduct on-site inspections of public art installations in Han River parks for aesthetic assessment.

It was positioned in a river park situated between Mapo Bridge and Wonhyo Bridge, as in the movie, the Han River is the primary habitat of the creature mutated by toxic chemicals discharged into the river.

Contrary to the city's intentions, however, the art project has failed to receive approval from many Seoul citizens who perceive the monstrous incarnation as a wasteful use of their tax money owing to its displeasing appearance.

Certainly, some Seoul residents, like Yoon in his 30s, feel that its placement is out of sync.

"The monster just doesn't fit the vibe of the riverfront," Yoon shared with The Korea Herald. "Despite the movie's popularity here, it would appear particularly odd to foreign visitors," he added, mentioning that his friend from England described the sculpture as somewhat "tacky."

Before the global phenomenon of "Parasite," Bong Joon-ho captured Korean audiences in 2006 with his action-packed film "The Host," centered on the Park family's desperate fight to save their young daughter who was snatched by a mysterious creature from the Han River.

Blending thrills with dark humor, it became a massive hit in 2006, shattering box office records and becoming the highest-grossing Korean film of its time.

A mutated fish creature runs rampant in a Han River Park in the movie 'The Host.' (The Host) A mutated fish creature runs rampant in a Han River Park in the movie 'The Host.' (The Host)