This was going to be my first post about a demolished space. Today’s post is going to be about the Yellow Building, which has been gone for over a year now. Before I venture on, I must give an update about my previous post.
Last Sunday, I was informed by a friend that the Nightmare Lab has bit the dust. It was disappointing to hear this news as it was one of Korea’s most interesting explorations. At the same time, locations come and go relatively quickly in Korea. The norm is accelerated urban development. Connoisseurs of Urban Exploration in Korea have very few places that are forgotten, becoming reclaimed by nature. For the Nightmare Lab to last this long was an anomaly. I raise my coffee and take a sip in honor of the Nightmare Lab.
On to today’s post. The picture above is the last time I saw the Yellow Building. I had been exploring this neighborhood in Seoul for about six months when I finally infiltrated this structure. It’s a huge area they are still clearing. It still has some pockets to explore, but this area is almost completely cleared. Over the year of visiting this neighborhood, there has always been interesting things to document. I will probably put pictures of this neighborhood in the future, but I will focus on this multipurpose building that used to hold a kindergarten, a language school, and a senior citizen’s continuing education center.
The kindergarten only took a small portion of the building. It had its own wing, which seemed to be a more recently addition. Main building contained classrooms for various activities. Pictures show that there was an active choir that participated in many local contests, as well as a few international events. There were a few pictures that document the graduation ceremonies for the school. This was a school for elderly people to expand their horizons and to make connections with others. There are plenty of examples in Korea, where elderly are cut off from their families and die lonely deaths. Many articles like this go in-depth about the phenomena of godoksa. This school provided stability and a sense of connection to their neighborhood.
It’s the details like the granny style seat cushions, the statues, and the stuffed weasel(?) that left the biggest impression on me. There once was an active learning community in this building. I wonder where the former students went after their school and neighborhood were forced to leave. My hope is the community of lifelong learners didn’t fragment because of this upheaval.