Expecting a downpour like Saturday, we went to check-in on an abandoned university we last visited in late spring 2018. Going through previous posts, I thought I had written up this place. It turns out I have only mentioned this particular university in passing in an early blog entry. When I was living in Gwangju, every weekend was dedicated to documenting, and there was never a lack of material to photograph. Somehow this abandoned university got pushed back into the archives. Now here’s a quick recap of our first time at the university.
The story about the school is pretty boring. No big scandals or embezzlements like the previously visited abandoned universities I have visited. This school, established in 1978, is still an active university in Jeollanam-do. It grew fairly well and decided to make another campus. At one time, they have two locations, but the grand plan was to relocate all academic departments to the newer campus. By 2015, all the remaining departments had moved, and this branch had been left to neglect since. There are two main academic buildings along with a student cafeteria and ceramics studio, places we weren’t able to access at the time.
Fast forward to September 2019, where it was forecasted to be pissing down rain. We decided to go back here because we would be able to explore and stay dry at the same time. I am always an advocate of checking in again at previously explored locations. It’s possible to see new things. We were able to get into the cafeteria and the ceramics studio this time. We went to check to see if the memorial statue was still in place. The university time and the dead student’s family were at odds on what to do with it. It seems that there has been some resolution, as there is a big brown crater where the statue once stood. The evidence points to it being dug out and not destroyed. Other things within the buildings were changed, as well. The first thing we noticed was the relocation of the fancy mannequins. They have been placed in a stairwell. Someone had thoughtfulness to line them up. The other significant change was inside the gym. What was once three-fourths covered in office furniture and lockers, was now mostly cleared that you could easily have a pick-up basketball game in there now.
We went back to the printmaking studio. The equipment is still rusting away. Student’s linocuts and woodblock prints are still in the drawers. It would have been fun to shoot the classical busts side-by-side the beauty queens…..
I think the best discovery of the day was the painted scenes of a semi-abandoned village. It was about as meta as finding abandoned-themed pornography in an abandoned bookbinder’s house.