PYONGYANG, North Korea – The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel has long been a stain on the Pyongyang skyline. The tallest unoccupied building in the world has stood over the North Korean capital since 1987, a grand but empty pyramid, with the exception of the single-plane warning light.
Outsiders viewed the unfinished building as the epitome of failure while the people were inside The country has been careful not to mention it.
That is, until the light designer Kim Yong Il has made the building again for the town talk.
In a brilliant script of the script, the Ryugyong was reborn as a symbol of pride and North Korean ingenuity.
For several hours a night, the building without electricity becomes the backdrop to a massive light show in which more than 1
The Ryugyong is not finished yet. There is no public date when or if it will host its first guest. The question remains whether the glass-concrete hotel is structurally sound. And the power supply in North Korea is limited.
But no matter.
"I'm really proud," said Kim, deputy department director of the Korean Light Decoration Center, recently in an interview with The Associated Press interview at the foot of the hotel. "I designed this great design for this gigantic building, and when people see it, it feels good, it makes me proud to work as a designer."
The display was lit for the first time in April for the country's birthday "The Eternal President", Kim Il Sung.
Designer Kim said the preparations took about five months. He was responsible for the design and programming of the light display, which took two months. Another specialist was responsible for physical construction and electrical wiring.
Worldwide, huge LED displays are used worldwide – in an even larger building. Japanese designer Yusuke Murakami and a London-based company collaborated in 2016 on an LED animation of the world's largest tower Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The 330 meter high Ryugyong tower has three distinct sides. The main show can be seen on the front, while simpler designs illuminate the other two. For a conical section at the top, Kim created the image of the red, white and blue North Korean flag that blew in the wind. It is 40 meters high and visible from all directions.
The four-minute main program begins with an animation showing the nation's history, followed by homage to ideals such as independence and revolutionary spirit and a procession of 17 political slogans such as "one-sided unity", "harmonious whole" and "100 battles, 100 victories. "
The lights are connected to a computerized control system the size of a household DVD player.
"The Whole The program can be stored on an SD card and inserted into the controller," Kim said. "We can diagnose on a laptop."
The Ryugyong is a big part of the leader's heritage the second generation, Kim Jong Il. the current leader of Kim Jong Un.
He had them built as part of Pyongyang's preparations for the 13th World Youth and Student Festival, held in 1989 as a kind of counterpoint to the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Be the tallest hotel in the world, surpassing In Singapore, which was built by a South Korean company, left the building on the track when North Korea suffered a severe economic crash and starvation in the 1990s following the fall of the Soviet Union.
Slowly it soared to Orascom in Egypt Group, which founded North's cellphone system, helped complete the glass facade in 2011.
Like his father, Kim Jong Un has a fondness for ambitious building projects, including 82- and 70-story residences in the capital. Ryomyong, "or" Dawn "district, opened last year, and a vast science and technology complex with a main building shaped like a giant atom.
" The goal of this light screen is to build trust and hope for the future for our employees, "said Kim, the designer, and watched people pass in the light of his huge presentation." The response has been great. The national flag at the top of the building is hundreds of feet high and anyone can see it. She fills her with pride and confidence to be a citizen who wants to work very hard. "
He refused to guess when the hotel itself could be opened.
" That's not my area, "laughed he
But he said it was not planned to shut down the Ryugyong light show, though updates were in progress. [19659003"Effectivecontentchange"said"Thedemandsandaspirationsofpeopleandtimeswillchangesothattheprogramwillbeabletoreshape"
Talmadge is the head of AP in Pyongyang Follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @ EricTalmadge