[Video Essay] Disappearing City


Student ID: 3035855430

Directed By: Seo Jun Ho

Site: Corridors, School Corridor in my mind

Theme: Disappearing City


Background Information:


How is a small space in a corridor changing constantly?


The corridor could be a passageway for people to go from one place to another. However, it could also be a space for gathering, especially in places like schools. After class, it’s a place where students see and interact with each other. Hence the corridor could be identified as a place of gathering. While the city can be considered a place of meeting outdoors, corridors serve the same purpose but indoors. However, as pandemic strikes, it becomes a place of avoidance and separation. This short film visualizes my interpretation of how I perceive corridors as space before and after the pandemic and illustrates the disappearance of an identity. Therefore the place of my school in Singapore was chosen as it can be a place that could illustrate my current perspective. 


I had to go to new schools throughout my childhood, and the first sight was the corridors. It felt like I was a trapped mouse in a cage. As time passed, moving individuals became my friend, and doors appeared as if it was new opportunities, whether it was educational or social. It used to be a space that encouraged gathering, a place that shouted unity and interactions. However, due to COVID-19, the corridor became a place to avoid, resulting in separation between me, friends, and the space itself. For me, corridors are part of a city where the identity has gone and disappeared. 



My theme was initially separation within the space of the corridor. I wanted to visualize the irony of the corridor. Although inside the space of the corridor is constant, there is always change, whether it is individuals who occupy, movements, or walls. Despite the corridor being a static entity, its identity constantly evolves, ultimately leading to a separation.


Additionally, I also consulted a study and a journal. While I could not find out research or study the corridor as a place of separation, interviews in the New York Times show the feeling of emptiness due to separation, quotes such as “It’s not great, being separated” from Violet in HHHS resonates with my personal feeling. (“What Students Are Saying about Socially-Distant Friendships, School Accountability and Lessons from Animals (Published 2020),” 2022)  According to studies by Alicia T. Lamere & Kristin Kennedy indicates. At the same time, students were willing to be connected through times of pandemic, they faced difficulty due to having to adapt to online space. (T. Lamere & Kennedy, 2020) The studies indicate that many feelings I felt could also be sympathized with. Hence by choosing a school space in which most populations were involved, I could use it as a better way of connecting to the audience by using a familiar place. Also, the lack of study and articles on the space of corridors somewhat neglects the space. Hence, illustrating in a way shown in the video brings better focus, understanding, and a fresh perspective on the space we may have taken ungranted. 


While initially, I was planning to do a film with actual footage of the school, as I intended to visualize my thoughts inside my head, I opted to draw with heavy abstraction as I thought it better illustrated my thoughts and could bring focus onto things I intended. The scene showcases my constant evolution. It starts with one entity, and as the video progresses, more is shown, such as from only one person to 6 doors or three figures and beds. This shows my discovery of space in a corridor as a space of interaction as a journey. 


However, the latter half shows how I perceived the space of the corridor by drawing symbolic illustrations such as closed doors or hospital beds and even the hollow graduation cloth. It embodies how the identity that the corridor once held disappeared and became a barrier between my friends. It felt as if the space still rejects me today. The figures shown in the first half were redrawn but in plain white and not other details, as that is how I perceived others in the online learning era due to the pandemic state. I drew a graduation gaun with no individuals inside to create an eerie vibe and symbolically resemble it. The graduation gaun resembles the end of education and without people inside resembles the end of our journey without us actually in the space. And with only one figure, the loneliness and isolation felt virtually inside the space of the corridor. 


A space that had both entrance and exit only showed an entrance and failed to show an exit.



During observation and reflection in the space of corridors. I didn’t realize how much influence the area within me had on me. It was almost as if it was a platform for interaction, which it was. I was amazed how the wall and other elements were constrained in a way that led us to intervene in different paths. The intervention of movement led to an interaction that bloomed into everlasting friendship. I could say this experience relates to others as I remember memories across all schools, where people usually gather mostly in corridors. It is the place where hello and goodbyes were most heard. The film could also be a careful reminder was the space that we take ungranted could be lost, whether its value or identity, at any given moment. 


In terms of the video, the abstraction of other details brings great focus onto one element, making the story clear to me and hopefully to the viewers. Through abstraction and revealing little detail by detail and making it disappear one by one shows the appearance and disappearance of identity that the corridors hold as if it is a small city filled with interaction. 


If I were to do this again rather than focusing on a period, for this which was the pandemic, I would capture over multiple days and years to fully grasp how the space evolves and changes. But in reality, we live in, at least how I see it, the corridor is a space that’s a disappeared city. 


UID: 3035855430 Name: SEO Jun Ho



What Students Are Saying About Socially-Distant Friendships, School Accountability and Lessons From Animals (Published 2020). (2022). The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/learning/what-students-are-saying-about-socially-distant-friendships-school-accountability-and-lessons-from-animals.html

  1. Lamere, A., & Kennedy, K. (2020). Examining the Effect of Personal Classroom Friendships with Online Learning. World Journal of Education and Humanities, 2(3), p61. https://doi.org/10.22158/wjeh.v2n3p61

2 thoughts on “[Video Essay] Disappearing City

  1. Law Hong Lam says:

    A thought-provoking film! I once thought about a question when I was shooting some corridor-like places: Is it possible that what I shoot will not be a gradually shrinking until reaching the invisible end, but be increasingly open space? Of course, due to the perspectival issue, this is an impossible proposition. It’s also like an innate characteristic of the corridor that standing at the entrance, I am destined not to see the wide exit. I appreciate the color tone of your film and the narratives that reveal the pessimism of the film. And also, the empty graduation gown is believed to be shared by all students who graduated in recent years, ironically but also with a sense of desolation. I think it is really apt to compare a corridor to a disappearing city. However, I will also rethink, as you said we have walked through many different corridors, in which there were good times, but of course, due to uncontrollable issues, there are painful memories. Since the destiny of the corridor is to disappear, then the memory is the best preservation. The ability to walk down another corridor with wonderful memories of the past, I believe, is something we need to learn.

  2. Jen Lam says:

    It seems that you have blended both philosophical understanding and functional aspects of a corridor in your video. You have started with your personal experience, but how to discuss it in terms of the city? It seems that the disappearance occurred on a personal level. You have attempted to add graphics like hospital beds, but they should be discussed in a more systematic way. You could possibly start with a research question in your mind and organize your video around that. Appreciate your effort in doing animation.


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