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[ Maybe today is the last day ]
23 September 2023

 I lived in Eindhoven for around four years. The space that was strange at first became familiar over time. I could find my way home with my eyes closed and walk down the street without a map. On my way back to the Netherlands after spending the summer in South Korea, there was a moment when I thought, 'I came back home' unconsciously. It was when the train I was on entered the Eindhoven station. I realized that I had come to recognize Eindhoven as my home, not the neighborhood in Korea where I was born and raised…I was surprised by myself!

Over the four years, there have been many changes in Eindhoven as well. Finding a home became increasingly difficult, and some friends eventually couldn't find one, so they started to reside in the surrounding cities, sometimes in areas that were 1-2 hours away by train. Old buildings have begun to undergo redevelopment. Several friends often told me that they had to move out of their house or studio because the building was going to be demolished. Soon, heavy equipment arrived at those buildings, smashing existing structures and busily erecting new ones.

My neighborhood was not an exception. The large building that was immediately visible along the small alley near my house also began to be demolished. It appeared to have been in use for a long time, and remained there for quite a while, even after it was vacated. But one day, the wall collapsed as if struck by lightning. While gazing at those moments, I suddenly became curious and looked for the building’s original purpose, and it was revealed that it was a community center.

Strangely, I recognized the space more clearly than ever when the building lost its existing form and began to break down. A building during deconstruction was more dynamic than ever. Each day, it took a different form, and the next shape was unpredictable. It was so ironic that this dynamic comes from the demolition process, the end of the building. To me, I felt as though the building, which was in its final moment after enduring the passage and supporting the city, was exhaling its last breath.

When the large building was reduced to scattered pillars and windowless opening, I suddenly felt the need to document the building. The building’s current state might not be visible tomorrow. I brought a film camera, took pictures here and there, and recorded the sounds inside the building. I discovered the building’s appearance before demolition was still available on Google Maps, and I virtually strolled through its past on the screen. Using a 3D scanning app, I captured the realistic but distorted images of the building and saved them on my computer.

But why? I did not understand it well at the time, but when I looked back after a while, I could see that I had somewhat identified the building with me. A person who comes from another country and feels that this place is home, but knows that one day, she will suddenly leave this place. The space was an empty house, existing only for a moment, a living but dying space. Therefore, it was the most virtual and the most realistic place at the same time. As this city is to me, and as I am to this city.

Eindhoven is not an old city. It is a city organized in the 1900s as a residential city for the employees of textile, tobacco and electronic device industries. Now global tech companies are based in Eindhoven, and workers from those companies come to live here. Every year, students attending universities in Eindhoven move in as well, and leave after graduation. It is a city not very old, but not very new either. Many people flow in, but most will flow out one day. It will not be just Eindhoven’s story. Large and small cities continued to be created, and the young generation does not and cannot live in one place anymore.

I suppose I wanted to commemorate a very ordinary space around me, a space that will soon disappear and be forgotten. (Google Maps has already completed an update, and old images of the building are nowhere to be found.) It would be the portrait of our contemporary city. Through it, I hope the present of each of us living in the city could be recorded in some way and remembered as well.