[Pangyo Tech] Napoleon gallery, “we are looking to visitors who get inspired by their visit to our gallery”

On March 16th, 2017 NS Shopping opened “Napoleon gallery” at an annex of NS Shopping in Pangyo Techno Valley which exhibits eight artifacts including Napoleon’s bicorne that Chairman Kim Hong-kuk of Harim Group once owned through an auction.

One of the exhibits is a bicorne that Emperor Napoleon I wore during the Battle of Marengo. In addition, visitors can take a look at eight artifacts including Napoleon’s portrait, letters, silver cups and a sword that Napoleon awarded generals with.

The exhibited bicorne is known to have been worn by Napoleon who crossed the Alps in May 1800 at the Battle of Marengo in Italy against the Austrian army in July. Napoleon gifted his bicorne to his veterinarian which then later was bought and owned by the Monaco royal family from the descendants of veterinarian in 1926.

The Battle of Marengo took place on an Italy’s plain where Napoleon led 40,000 troops crossing the Alps so called “a formidable fortress” and had a victory against the Austrian troops. It also reminds many people of one of Napoleon’s quotes, “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.”

Napoleon’s character revealed in his bicorne which is his willingness to take on challenges bears resemblance to Chairman Kim’s life. Chairman Kim is a self-made entrepreneur. He was born into parents who served in public office but he was interested in starting his own business and pioneered his own path by himself although his parents disapproved him.

I sat down with curator Yang Soo-bin at Napoleon gallery which became a place of positivity, relatability for taking on challenges through exhibiting Napoleon’s bicorne.

Q1. The introduction of Napoleon gallery

curator Yang Su-bin: In 2014, after hearing the news that Napoleon’s bicorne will be on Oceana action in France, Chairman Kim Hong-kuk of Harim Group sent his art dealer to France to participate in the event. Napoleon’s bicorne was actioned off at 2.6 billion won five times the expected price after a competitive bidding with a museum in Japan. Also, visitors can appreciate valuable artworks including Napoleon’s portrait and swords which show the historical background and culture. It is known as an artifact stored by the Monaco royal family who wanted to raise money for the make-over of royal palace. Chairman Kim Hong-kuk made a plan to create a gallery to exhibit theses artifacts and three years later Napoleon gallery was founded in Pangyo Techno Valley in 2017.

Q2. The introduction of main exhibits

curator Yang Su-bin: The bicorne is known to have been worn by Napoleon who crossed the Alps in May 1800 to fight the Austrian troops in Italy’s Marengo plain in June. The battle left Napoleon’s famous quote, “Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.” The hat is made of traditional French pelts and beaver skin which was the best fur fabric at the time and the lining is made of quilted silk. The circular decoration consists of blue, white and red and represents the flag of France. Each represents freedom, equality and patriotism. Even 200 years have passed, the edge of hat remains sharp and it is in good shape.

Q3. To whom do you recommend Napoleon gallery?

curator Yang Su-bin: The gallery is recommended for people who need to recharge. Pangyo, a place of start-ups and businesses with innovative ideas, attracts many young people. With repetitive tasks and routine in everyday life, people often lose grasp of what they want and be complacent. Napoleon gallery is created under the company with the hope of inspiring people to dream and stay positive through Napoleon’s life trajectory alongside his artifacts. Chairman Kim Hong-kuk decided to open the gallery for free expecting that it could be a small gift for teenagers and young people.

Q4. Programs and event in Napoleon gallery

curator Yang Su-bin: From July, programs for children who visit the gallery will be held. Napoleon coloring book, bicorne creation kit will be distributed and more details can be checked out on the website. Group visitors can make a reservation. A group of five people will receive a service designed by a curator for 20 minutes and they can watch an animated film about the biography of Napoleon. The website of Napoleon gallery is up and running so please refer to it before visiting.

Q5. A message to visitors from Napoleon gallery

curator Yang Su-bin: thls year marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death. So far, Napoleon is often mentioned as the boldest and most positive person in the world. The life of Napoleon shows us that it is important to have a challenging, promising and positive attitude instead of being complacent in life. It would be a valuable experience for people who are complacent being afraid to challenge themselves. Napoleon’s message that although being unable to be successful I am going to follow my own path resonates with us today differently because it feels simple yet impressive.

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom 

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