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It’s Panda-monium! 1600 Pandas+ Occupy Korea

Pandas in formation

I can’t think of anything much cuter than 1600 papier-mâché pandas suddenly appearing in random parts of a country…but that’s exactly what’s happening in Korea, for the next month.

Pandas as far as the eye can see

Pandas as far as the eye can see

That’s right. It’s Panda-monium! Insane adorableness aside, there’s a much grander purpose for all the seemingly innocent black and white cuteness.

A collaboration between the World Wildlife Federation France and artist Paulo Grangeon, the exhibition serves to raise awareness of wildlife conservation, using huge flash mobs of pandas at strategically popular locations throughout the country. The title “1600 Pandas+” refers to the increase in the wild panda population, over the last decade, from 1,600 to 1,800, as well as to increased public awareness of conservation issues.

Since 2008, when the project began, the pandas have occupied nearly 100 locations around the world. In Korea, so far, the 1600 bamboo addicts have already flash-mobbed Seoul’s Sejong Centre, Seoul Plaza, and Gangnam’s M-Stage for limited 5 hour periods of time.

We made it out to Seoul Plaza, to find a plethora of pandas staged in various configurations and positions. There were even panda pyramids! Can you say cuteness overload?

Don’t fret if you’ve missed their previous stops though. Tonight (May 29th), and tomorrow, you can experience panda-mania yourself at uber-modern Dongdaemun Design Plaza, former sight of those 21,000 LED flowers, and on Sunday, at the North Seoul Tower. From there, it’s off to parts unknown, but you can follow their route HERE, and maybe even catch them in a bamboo forest, happily munching away.

1600 Pandas+ Tour Map, www.1600pandas.kr

1600 Pandas+ Tour Map, http://www.1600pandas.kr

You’ll still have a chance to see the pandas in all their black and white glory, even if you miss the fleeting flash mobs, around the country, though. After their month long travels in Korea, the 1600 will end up at their final exhibition spot on Seokchon Lake, next to sky-high Lotte World Tower, starting July 4th and ending July 31st.

Have you seen a panda flash-mob somewhere in the world? What do you think? Is this an effective way to promote wildlife conservation?

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think this is such a cool idea! I saw your photos on Instagram but I hadn’t realized that the pandas were an effort to promote wildlife conservation. I’m all for this. I think it’s a wonderful idea and, obviously, it’s adorable 🙂

    May 29, 2015
    • It is a really clever and cute way to promote a very important issue. Lol…but when I was reading about the artist though, now it seems that all he does is make papier-mâché pandas. He’s made 10,000 of them so far..!! :p

      May 30, 2015
  2. so cute

    May 29, 2015
  3. The more the merrier! Would like to take one home 🙂

    May 29, 2015
    • Haha, they were pretty cute! I think it is actually possible to “adopt” one and take one home…lol, if you really want one. 😉

      May 30, 2015
  4. wow..so adorable!! Loving this, I wish I were there myself 😀 😀 – the trio panda is so funny!!

    May 29, 2015
    • Heh heh, it’s cute, eh? But the set-up in Gangnam was a little bit creepy, with the pandas all in rows military precision-style. An army of pandas. :p

      May 30, 2015
  5. This is such a fun, funky way to approach an issue. Thanks for sharing!

    May 30, 2015
    • It was a really cute and clever way to approach something so serious. I was so happy to find out that the panda population is increasing. 🙂

      May 30, 2015
  6. That’s positively brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

    May 30, 2015
  7. Aw, cute! I love art with a purpose.

    May 30, 2015
    • They were adorable! and I loved finding out that they were created to support wildlife conservation. 🙂

      May 30, 2015
  8. Sha #

    Perfect photo opportunity…haha…so cute!!! 🙂

    May 30, 2015
  9. This is such a neat idea. It’s so out of the ordinary that people will stop to look and maybe think!

    May 31, 2015
    • Definitely, and for such a worthy cause! They’re so adorable, and it’s such a great idea to have them just pop up here and there, all over the country. More surprising that way… 🙂

      June 1, 2015
  10. What a great idea! And so cute.

    June 2, 2015
    • Really clever for sure, and definitely adorable. I’m curious to see where else the pandas end up in the country. 🙂

      June 3, 2015
  11. I always always love it when there’s so many of just one thing. But this one is extra awesome because of the message. Would love to see this personally. These pandas should go to Greece or maybe Japan next year. 😀

    June 13, 2015
    • I’m facebook-sharing this on my blog page.

      June 13, 2015
      • Lol, you’re the opposite of my sister, who feels completely freaked out by swarms of things. 😉 The pandas have already traveled to 100 countries, so perhaps they’ve already been to Japan? It seems like something they’d dig in Japan. You have a FB page? Will find you now… 😀

        June 14, 2015
  12. Panda flashmobs. That sounds sooo adorable. From your photos, the papier mache pandas actually look life-like. Some even look like they are talking together. I’m sure you can’t take one home 😉 I wish that was a thing in Australia, even for just a few days. Who knows. Great way to raise awareness around this endangered species .

    June 18, 2015
    • They were really cute! and quite life-like, except for being much smaller. 😉 They did a great job of setting them up in different positions, and they’re still traveling around Korean right now. I’m pretty sure they’ll end up in Damyang bamboo forest at some point, which is a natural environment for them. Would be great to see them there! 🙂

      June 19, 2015

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