Expo 2012

EXPO Yeosu 2012

Expo 2012's logo
BIE-class Specialized exposition
Category International Recognized Exhibition
Name Expo 2012
Visitors 8,203,956
Organized by Kang Dong-Suk
Countries 105
Country  South Korea
City Yeosu
Coordinates 34°44′57″N 127°44′50″E / 34.749194°N 127.747263°E / 34.749194; 127.747263
Awarded November 26, 2007 (2007-11-26)
Opening May 12, 2012 (2012-05-12)
Closure August 12, 2012 (2012-08-12)
Specialized expositions
Previous Expo 2008 in Zaragoza
Next Expo 2017 in Astana
Universal expositions
Previous Expo 2010 in Shanghai
Next Expo 2015 in Milan
Horticultural expositions
Previous Royal Flora Ratchaphruek in Chiang Mai
Next Expo 2016 in Antalya
Horticultural (AIPH) Floriade 2012
Panoramic view of Expo 2012 Yeosu

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea (Hangul: 2012 여수세계박람회; Hanja: 2012 麗水世界博覽會) was an International Exposition recognized by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) held in Yeosu, South Korea which opened May 12, 2012 and ran until August 12, 2012.[1] The theme of the Expo was “The Living Ocean and Coast” with subthemes of “Preservation and Sustainable Development of the Ocean and Coast,” “New Resources Technology,” and “Creative Marine Activities.”[2] There were 105 participating countries, international organizations, and 8,203,956 visitors.

The Expo 2012 Yeosu opened on May 12 in the southern coastal town of Yeosu, approximately 455 kilometers south of Seoul. It was the second international fair hosted by Korea, after the Taejŏn Expo '93.

The expo site for 80 exhibition halls stretched out alongside the sea with promenades and exhibit spaces extending to the island of Odongdo and the seawalls.

The Yeosu Expo also received positive comments for addressing global issues like climate change and the protection of the ocean through story-telling events.


Europe 23 Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
The Americas 20 Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Colombia, Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Uruguay, United States
Oceania 1 Australia
Asia 30 Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam
Africa 25 Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda
Middle East 7 Israel, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen
International organizations 9 CBD, FAO, GEF (Global Environment Facility), IOC, IPCC, OECD, PEMSEA, UN, WFP

Mascot and symbol

Yeony and Suny, the official mascots of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, are personifications of plankton. Each of their names is derived from “Yeosu,” where Yeo means “beautiful” and Su means “water”.

A simplified abstraction of the organic forms of ecology, oceans and environment are represented in the logo.

Selection process

142nd Meeting of the International Exhibitions Bureau[4]
19:00 November 26, 2007, in Palais des congrès de Paris, France
City Nation Round 1 Round 2[4]
Yeosu  South Korea 6877
Tangier  Morocco 5963
Wrocław  Poland 13-

To host, a venue must receive over 2/3 of the votes cast by BIE member countries in the first round of voting. At each round of voting, the venue with the least votes is out and there is an additional vote between the remaining venues.

Theme, vision, and goals


The Living Ocean and Coast: Diversity of Resources and Sustainable Development

Background of theme


The theme, “The Living Ocean and Coast,” was divided into three sub-themes: Development and Preservation of the Ocean and Coast, New Resources Technology, and Creative Marine Activities. These sub-themes have been further developed into 6 thematic groups, namely, Climate & Environment, Marine Life, Marine Industry & Technology, Marine City and Marine Civilization, and Marine Arts, each of which are demonstrated in their respective sub-theme pavilions.

Development and Preservation of the Ocean and Coast aimed to inspire a new level of cooperation in the international community so as to combat climate change and create a paradigm where development and preservation find a better balance. The last few decades have witnessed environmental degradation caused by use and development of natural resources by humankind. Our economies and societies must break away from their current fossil fuel-based economies to minimize damage to both people and the environment. The sub theme argued that individuals, businesses, countries and the global community must realize that marine resources are limited and should not be subject to careless use, but that they are the fundamentals for the sound development of our future society, and people and ecosystems must be considered on the same level.

New Resources Technology illustrated the progress and future prospects of marine technology, a new growth driver for the advancement of humankind. Countries are becoming more competitive in marine-related industries and are developing new technologies to address issues related to resources and the changing environment. The discreet use of resources, which strikes a balance between development and preservation, is only possible if based on advanced marine science and technology. Fostering marine industries will create added value and generate new jobs to transform sluggish industries into low cost, high efficiency structures.

Creative Maritime Activities aimed to demonstrate the relationship between the oceans and humankind through culture and art and promote the new ideals of the seatizen and seavilization. A mix of play and experience (edutainment) aimed to trigger the imagination and curiosity of attendees towards an unknown world and to inspire children to learn to love and appreciate the oceans. A wide collection of marine-related culture and arts, including poetry, novels, films, operas, musicals, plays and music were shown at the Yeosu Expo.

Primary content

Korean Pavilion

The Korean Pavilion was designed to convey the theme of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, whilst also emphasizing Korea’s vision and role.
The exhibition hall was adorned with traditional Korean constructions and colors. The event organizers have also stated that a diverse selection of official events and "event corners", representing Korean culture, will be prepared for the international occasion.
An exhibition that has been highlighted in the lead-up to the event was one that will feature the most notable achievements in Korean shipbuilding, marine transportation, marine products, marine technology, and marine safety. These achievements are shown in two exhibition halls.[5]

The first exhibition hall Sea of Miracles focused on Korea's past ocean adventures.[5] and was divided into three acts:[5] Experiencing Korea's Seas, Discovering Korea's Maritime Spirit and - Realizing Korea's Maritime Capacity.

The second hall 2 Sea of Hope portrayed Korea's potential future role in maritime era[5] and included the world's largest dome screen.[5]

International Pavilions

It was anticipated that the International Pavilions section will occupy the exhibition space's largest physical area. This section of the Expo provided an opportunity for participating countries to plan and hold their exhibitions. Themed quarters were displayed in the International Pavilions exhibition, consisting of the "Sea of Life", "Sea of Exchange", "Sea of Peace", and "Sea of Land". There were total of four buildings (A, B, C, and D) each with several exhibition rooms for participating countries.[6]

Jessiko robot fish on France Pavilion at Yeosu 2012 World Expo
Nation Individual pavilion Building Size Notes BIE award(s)
 Antigua and Barbuda A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Algeria C[8]   Showed a video that related to Sahara Desert  
 Angola A[8]   Showed a video with vibrating chairs, wind, etc., Performed a concert using traditional instrument  
 Argentina B[8]   Played music and showed tango  
 Armenia A[7] D Focusing on the Information ocean the Armenian pavilion introduced the WORLDLAB concept intended to become a platform for exploration of the next generation of scientific innovations.[9]
Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion
 Australia D[8][10]   A three sectional display covering Indigenous art, contemporary Australia and coastal living[11] Creative display bronze[12]
 Belgium B[8]   Gave cookies at the entrance, Showed plastic surgery using chocolate, Showed major national buildings that were designed like merry-go-around  
 Brunei D[8] C[13] The Brunei exhibition was to consider the connections between forest and reef and include a large aquarium[14]  
 Cambodia D[8]      
 China D[8]   Creative display gold[12]
 Democratic Republic of the Congo B[8]   Displayed wooden masks  
 Denmark B[8]   Displayed various Lego  
 Dominica A[7] D    
 Dominican Republic A[7] D    
 Egypt A[8] C[13] Showed miniature pyramids and virtual crowns  
 France B[8]   Showed hourglass built into a wall, Showed fish tank that had many robot fish Jessiko,[15] Performance by robot band  
 Gabon D[8]   Creative display gold[16]
 Germany A[8]   Entitled SEAVOLUTION the German pavilion comprised three sectors, coastal, biotope and treasure chamber explaining different aspects of sea and coastal life followed by fourth room with a main show.[17] Approximately 430 000 people visited and it won the Gold Price for "best content related implementation of the Expo theme"[18] Presented futuristic underwater exploration video  
 Grenada A[7] D The Grenadian booth showed the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park and Grenada's yachting facilities[19]  
 Guatemala A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Guyana A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Honduras A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 India A[8]   Showed technique of low heat desalination  
 Indonesia D[8]   Showcasing the Indonesian marine biodiversity, displaying a rare specimen of Indonesian coelacanth, also use it as its mascot  
 Israel B[8]   Sea of inspiration was mostly an art installation.[20] Showed clean glass lamps  
 Italy B[8]   Introduced to 2015 Milano Expo  
 Japan D[8]   Japan's pavilion focused on the tale of one boy coming to terms with the March 2011 tsunami in Japan[21]  
 Kazakhstan B[8]   Note-taking after taking a photo, Emailed to visitors with their photos, Showed video after various performances  
 Lithuania B[8] C[13] Showed ambers found near Baltic Sea Creative display silver[13]
 Malaysia D[8]      
 Mexico B[8] C[13] Showed video related to ancient Mayan civilization Creative display bronze[13]
 Monaco A[8]   Outlined the work of the Monégasque royal family in protecting the Mediterranean sea[21] Allowed participation of sign-up activity after a quiz  
 Netherlands B[8]   Played video related to 2002 World Cup  
 Nicaragua A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Nigeria B[8]   Displayed various wooden carvings  
 Norway A[8]   Called 25 148 Destination Norway the pavilion described its coastline, with the number 25148 relating to the length of Norway's coastline[21] Showed a virtual trip video to Norway  
 Oman C[8]   4D experience, Detailed explanation of the exhibition Theme development gold[22]
 Pakistan A[8]   Showed 3D hologram video that had Pakistani artifacts  
 Panama A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Papua New Guinea D   Creative display bronze[16]
 Paraguay A[7] D Called The Land Where Water is Born this looked at Paraguay's waterways[21] Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Philippines D[8] C[13] With a slogan of Island of Diversity – Seas of Connectivity the exhibit took corals as its starting point and focus to display the country's biodiversity. Recycled materials were used to build the pavilion.[13] It received about 800 000 visitors.[13] Creative display and Theme development gold[13]
 Qatar C[8]   The Qatari pavilion explained its seafaring tradition and current efforts to preserver its maritime environment[23] Allowed female visitors to experience henna  
 Romania A[8]   Gifted magnets to visitors, Allowed visitors to virtually experience traditional clothings through use of monitors and cameras  
 Russia B[8]   The Russian exhibit had a slogan of Ocean and Man, A Way from the Past to the Future[24] where visitors were to be shown scale models of a floating nuclear power plant and of a new-generation nuclear-powered icebreaker[25] Showed video related to Arctic, Allowed visitors to experience sailing a ship using games  
 Saint Kitts and Nevis A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Seychelles D Creative display silver[16]
 Singapore D[8]   The showcasing ecologically sensitive city design under the clever title Paradox-ity: City of Contract exhibition demonstrated ecologically sensitive city design[20] Theme development silver[26]
 Spain B[8]   Showed a video that related seawater at different depths, Showed samples retrieved from deep seawaters  
 Sri Lanka A[8]   Displayed various jewel statues, Installed religion experiencing room  
 Suriname A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Sweden A[8]   An Archipelago of Ideas showed the country's innovation[21] Explained Sweden's culture  
  Switzerland A[8]   Entitled The Source. It's in your hands it received 500 000 visitors[27] Showed an old iceberg that was as old as South Korean history Creative display gold[28]
 Tajikistan A[7] D Part of the Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West) pavilion  
 Tunisia A[8] C[13] Displayed fish-shaped reed craft work, Displayed artworks  
 Turkey A[8]   Had a theme of "TURKEY: A Land of Civilizations Connecting Seas and Continents"[29]
Showed aquariums and allowed visitors to experiment 3D effects.
 Turkmenistan B[8]   Introduced to travel district that is currently under construction, Showed traditional hats  
 Uruguay A[8]   Displayed an underwater environment using illusion films Theme development silver[13]
 United Arab Emirates C[8]   Phototaking using background that had drawings of underwater endangered species, Visitors were allowed to make their own fish Creative display silver[12]
 United States D[8]   The pavilion had a series of films, including contributions from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and many Americans describing their own connections to the ocean[20]  
 Vietnam D[8] C[13]   Theme development bronze[13]

Other participating nations had displays in shared pavilions, with Oceania in A introducing different countries within Oceania; Pacific in B introducing different countries within Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean in C showing different countries within Indian Ocean.

Theme Pavilion

The core concept of the Expo was "The Living Ocean and Coast”.[30] Human life not only embraces space, time, culture, science, technology, and occidental and oriental ideas, but also the ecosystems and humankind. In the tradition of previous expos (Zaragoza Expo’s “Water”, Lisbon Expo’s “Sea”, and “Future heritage”), the organizers of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea have expressed an intention to innovate and progress beyond the concepts of the event's history.

Aquarium, the Marine Life Pavilion

Based upon the notion that marine life is the source of all life, the exhibition sought to present the diversity of the earth's marine resources, as well as the viability of their continuous use and development by humankind. Visitors observe the sea as a "treasure house" of biodiversity and, by highlighting our mutual relationship with the sea, the importance of preserving the marine environment is emphasized. The aquarium built in Expo 2012 is so far Korea's largest aquarium.[31] It houses more than over 34,000 marine animals of 281 species and is divided into three main areas: Marine Life, Aqua Forest, and Ocean Life.[32]

Marine Life

Aqua Forest

Ocean Life

Other than wondrous marine organisms, there is a 3-D movie theater that shows short animation clip as well.[31] Although aquarium is free-of-charge, 3-D movie costs money to watch it.[31] At one time, aquarium can only allow 1,620 people inside and takes 60 minutes on average to fully view it.[32]

One structure in Expo 2012 was the Expo Digital Gallery. Located between the international pavilions[8] it was a gigantic LED screen attached at the bottom of the ceiling.[31] It is a rectangular LED screen 218 meters wide and 30 meters long. This is equivalent to 6,324 units of 60 inch TVs.[31] When pedestrians walked under the huge screen, they were able to see various animations played within the LED screen. Visitors with smartphones were able to take a picture, add a message, and send it to the screen so that it can be displayed on the screen.[31]

Sky Tower

Two cement storage towers were transformed into the tallest structure of the Expo site and its observation deck offers panoramic views of the event grounds. It includes the acoustical signet of the Expo: The Vox Maris, a pipe organ that opened and closed every single Expo-day, it was also regularly used in concert play. Inside Sky Tower a new Korean technique produces fresh water from sea water and a panoramic cinema shows scenes of ocean life. The Sky Tower was elected as one of the top four major attractions of Yeosu Expo.

Vox Maris

Expo Town

The Expo Town was originally developed as an exemplary model of an ecologically-sound coastal city, for use as a testing ground for "green" home projects. The organizers modified this section to display ocean-themed "timeshares" and premium dwelling places for the future beyond the Expo.

Yeosu Declaration

Yeosu Declaration is to demand the international response to the situation such as pollution and overfishing, that preservation for the ocean and sustainable development is threatened. It emphasized the importance of international cooperation and feasible actions for solving problems in ocean. Yeosu Declaration was chosen during the Expo and supported by the international society which seeks sustainable development.

Yeosu Project

Under the Yeosu Project, the government of South Korea had planned to spend around $10 million to fund educational programs in developing countries and to fund the visit of professionals from developing countries to South Korea. This training and education was planned to focus on the protection of marine ecosystems and on sustainable development.[33]


Other than pavilions and exhibition buildings, Yeosu Expo held various indoor and outdoor performances to further entertain its visitors. Such performances involved water shows, parades, concerts involving pop stars from other countries, movies, and theatricals. For each event, the location varies and has meaningful messages to portray to the audiences. Some are performed multiple times while others are performed once. These diverse events not only allow the visitors to enjoy their time to the fullest but also allow them to realize the reasons for holding Yeosu Expo 2012.

Water shows


See also


  1. 1 2 "Foreign press in Korea for the Yeosu Expo". Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the United States of America. April 21, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  2. http://eng.expo2012.kr/is/ps/unitybbs/bbs/selectBbsDetail.html?ispsBbsId=BBS001&ispsNttId=0000000002
  3. "'Yeosu Expo's Logo Song (English)". Retrieved 2012-05-17.
  4. 1 2 "IK-Journal". Investkorea.org. Retrieved 2012-05-17.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Korea Pavilion". EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  6. "국제관 (International Pavilions)" (in Korean). EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Everyday Miracle [Korea] Yeosu Expo 2012 - Atlantic Ocean Joint Pavilion (West)". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 "International Pavilion - Map". Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  9. "Armenian Pavilion at the World Expo 2012 Yeosu: a Unique Concept of the WORLDLAB as Philosophy of New Thinking". Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  10. "Where We Are | Australian Pavilion". Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  11. "Design | Australia Pavilion". Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  12. 1 2 3 "Award-winning Australian Pavilion! | Australian Pavilion". Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "THE PHILIPPINES AND BEYOND: Philippine Pavilion at the Yeosu Korea International Expo". Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved September 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. "Brunei joins World Expo 2012 in S Korea | The Brunei Times". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  15. "Robot Swim of France showed off a shoal of self-moving robot fishes". Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  16. 1 2 3 "International Expo award for creative display Seychelles takes Silver at Yeosu International Expo - ...". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  17. "Pavilion tour and exhibits - German Pavilion Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea - SEAVOLUTION". Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  18. "German Pavilion Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea - SEAVOLUTION". Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  19. "http://www.gov.gd/egov/news/2012/may12/25_05_12/item_3/grenada_creating_buzz_korean_expo.html | GOV.gd". Retrieved September 8, 2013. External link in |title= (help)
  20. 1 2 3 "Sinking and swimming at the Yeosu expo: Public diplomacy and nation branding in South Korea, 2012". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 "Country pavilions show world of coasts at Yeosu expo - Yahoo! News Philippines". Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  22. "Welcome to Oman News Official Website". Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  23. "Qatar's seafaring tradition to be shown in Korea". Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  24. "Russian Exposition Identity - World exhibition EXPO-2012, 12 may - 12 august 2012, Yeosu". Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  25. "Russia to display innovative designs, devices at EXPO-2012, 12 may - 12 august 2012, Yeosu". Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  26. "Singapore Pavilion wins Silver Award for Theme Development at EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea". Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  27. "Gold Award for the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2012 Yeosu". Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  28. "Trunz Water Systems AG - Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea". Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  29. "Yeony and Suny : Turkey pavilion". Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  30. Staff (2012). "Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea". China Central Television. China Central Television. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  31. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Thematic Facilities". EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  32. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Aquarium". EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  33. The Yeosu Project: Summary
  34. InPark Magazine. ""Big O" central feature at Yeosu Expo 2012 designed by ECA2 depends on Medialon show control".
  35. "해상무대에서 보는 멀티미디어쇼". EXPO 2012 YEOSU KOREA. Retrieved 10 October 2012.


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  1. Original Korean Text: 평화와 화합, 희망 같은 주제를 다뤘는데, 시각적인 효과 하나만으로도 볼거리가 충분하다.
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