www.groovekorea.com / June 2014 70 Edited by Emilee Jennings (Emilee@groovekorea.com) MuSIC & ARTS Urban explora tion d i s c o v e r i n G t h e u n s e e n T he go-to setting when films show junkies shooting up or blonde babes getting axe mur- dered, abandoned buildings have a bad rep. And while many try to avoid the graffiti-ridden spots that litter cities and towns around the world, others actively hunt them down for explo- ration, documentation and appreciation. One such urban explorer is Kore- an-American Joseph Jung, a New York City native who has been living in Korea since 2011. Armed with a camera and an ultra-wide lens, Jung captures the in- nards of abandoned schools, institutions, amusement parks and other decaying or forgotten structures across the peninsula, and then shares these powerful images on his site Abandoned Korea. Groove Korea caught up with Jung to find out more about this intriguing hobby. Groove Korea: When did you get into urban exploration (urbex)? Joseph Jung: During university, a friend told me about an abandoned tunnel with a bunch of graffiti that he had explored. He invited me to join him, but I didn’t real- ly understand it the way he described it; I thought it was some graffiti gallery of sorts and turned down his offer. It wasn’t until he showed me the pictures that he took there that I was like, “I need to go there.” Since then I’ve been hooked. What about the hobby keeps you hooked and gets you up early on the weekends? A variety of reasons. For one, some of these places are just plain cool. A disused Cold War missile base? Heck yes. An en- tire abandoned university campus? Sign me up. Secondly, there’s a certain thrill when it comes to exploring and photo- graphing some of the more dangerous or hard-to-get-≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠to places. Did the photography come before or after your explorations? Definitely before. My dad was a photog- rapher, so I remember helping him carry and move equipment from the car for as long I could remember. It wasn’t until uni- versity, though, when I cofounded a pho- tography club, that I really took a strong interest in photography. But at the time I didn’t have any focus, so I was just shoot- ing anything and everywhere. Outside of Korea, where else have you explored? I’m originally from NYC, so I’ve spent a few years there exploring everything I could, from the underground Amtrak tun- nels to decommissioned Cold War missile bases. In Tokyo, I was able to check out a burned down student dormitory, and in Hong Kong, I met up with a group of ex- plorers there to explore a large hybrid fac- tory of sorts. I also managed to find my way into an abandoned Hakka village is- land out in the Outer Territories. Story by Remy Raitt / Photos by Joseph Jung ‘i’m oriGinally From nyc, so i’ve spent a Few years there explorinG everythinG i could, From the underGround amtrak tunnels to decommissioned cold war missile bases.’ joseph junG august 2011 / inside a wwi underground ammunition magazine in new york city. popular among local graffiti artists, the walls inside the magazine serve as an evolving gallery space as artists paint over each others work. august 2011 / walking along a stretch of tunnels underneath the upper west side of manhattan in new york city. another popular spot among graffiti artists, the tunnels were freshly painted over by the authorities during the summer of 2011. october 2011 / outside an abandoned middle school in the countryside. the school was demolished in early 2013.