utopia of a monster [movie]

[Lee Dae-Il interviewed by Kim Sang-Ryeol]

sewoonsanga – utopia of a monster · 세운상가 – 괴물의이상햔

sewoonsanga, a hybrid mega-structure [1967, Seoul, A.: Kim Swoo Geun] built to fight prostitution and later turned into VHS-porn-paradise. the interview-based documentary discusses history and perspectives of this Korean architectural icon designed by Korea’s most influential post-war architect.

a movie by

Kim Sang-ryeol  김상렬
Kim Jae-young  김재영
Tao Wenwen  도문문
Seong Hyeong-gyu  성형규
Jan Schabert  얀 샤버트
Heo Seong-hoon  허성훈


Prof. Cheol-Soo Kim, Keimyung University
Dae-Il Lee, +alpha electronic
Hyo-Sang Seung, principal of iroje
Jeong-Jong Sook
Jo Jeung Sook
Joong-Jae Lee, principal of cities of tomorrow
Prof. Jung-In Ha, Han Yang University
Kyung-Soo Noh
Prof. Peter Ferretto, Seoul National University
Sang-Woo Song, principal of ace electronic
Prof. Yi-Jong Ho, korea national universtiy of arts


Nam Yeon-Jung
Yeo Wha-Jin
Lee Ji-Su
Lim Young-Hee

interview with Seung Hyo-Sang

Choi Sang-Yeol

editing consultant

Antonia Fenn, Berlin/D

funded by

BISA Research Fund
Keimyung University
Daegu, Republic of Korea

filmed & produced

Republic of Korea, 2011


26’12″  · HD · 16/9 · 1080/25p · kr/e · kr/e subtitles

world premiere

architecture film festival rotterdam AFFR

hungarian premiere

5th Budapesti Építészeti Filmnapok/5th Budapest Architecture Film Days

portuguise premiere

1st Arquiteturas Film Festival Lisbon


internet movie data base


»Because we love crazy buildings, we couldn’t resist this last moment entry which was really way too late: a short film called Sewoonsanga, Utopia or a monster. Jan Schabert said: “It is a study project at the Keimyung University concerning Sewoonsanga in Seoul. The building is a mega-structure of one kilometer long, cutting right through the city. It was best known in the 70’s for being a giant porn mall. Now it is – like many of these megastructures from the sixties – seriously endangered from demolition. It would be superfabulous if you can screen the film”. And so we will, or at least the short version of couple of minutes!«

sewoonsanga – utopia of a monster // redux // [05’01”]