Urban exploration in Korea with Nikon D7000 and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

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Urban Exploring in Korea 11
In this guest post Jackson Hung describes his documentary project on urban exploration in Korea he did two years ago with a Nikon D7000 camera and Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens:

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Somewhere in central Korea, stands a massive complex which consists of 14 half built “abandoned” apartments. They used to be known as the “Yuseong Sola Apartments(유성소라아파트).” The original developer for this project was “Hanguk Property Trust(한국부동산신탁(주)).” From the information that is posted on what used to be the construction gate, work commenced some time in 2007.

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The average height of the apartment buildings ranges from 12 to 14 stories, depending on the building. It is visible when one is taking an arterial road which is separated by large rice fields and to what seems to be an old unused airstrip. Being curious about the apartments, my friend and I set off on our own little urban exploration.

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We ventured into two buildings that were accessible from a small road. The amount of space that the complex occupies is immense, with the longer buildings being able to take up an entire city block.

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From what we observed, with the amount of construction equipment, bricks and mortar that were placed in each floor, it seems as though the construction workers simply just got up and left. Even the molds that are used to construct each floor hang precariously on the last floor that they constructed.

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We managed to climb up to the twelfth floor, with the thirteenth and the “rooftop” being blocked off with ruble and construction equipment.

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There was an eerie emptiness while we were exploring though the floors of the apartments. In this massive complex were only two people, wandering around to see what they could find. What could have been a thriving community, filled with the sound of laughter and joy, with children playing in the courtyards, and families taking their evening stroll down to the beach to enjoy the sunset; this wonderful “could have been” scenery has all but reduced to bare, cold, and emotionless walls containing nothing but empty space and overgrown vegetation.

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During the exploration, I was deeply obsessed with one question; why did they stop construction? Once I processed the photos, I did a brief search on the internet but interestingly, no information could be found. The only thing which I could do was to ask colleagues at work if they knew anything about these apartments.

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Surprisingly, only one person knew something about it. According to what she knew, the original contractor, “Yuseong Construction Industry (유성건설산업(주))” went bankrupt some time in 2008. The project was bought up by another company but for some reason, work never really continued.

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Aerial photos from 2008 indicates that construction already come to halt with the lack of construction vehicles on the site. In the 2009 aerial photo, one can observe that Mother Nature has slowly taken over the empty spaces between each apartment complex.

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As of today, the whole site is still considered “under construction” but with the absence of construction workers and the large scale of vegetation that has taken over then construction site, it seems as though the complex will never be finished.

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