Photo of the Day: People Who Stay in Micro Hostels

Photographer Won Kim captured residents of a tiny guesthouse in a remote district of Tokyo.

New York-based photographer Won Kim had a look inside one of the hostels located in the outskirts of Tokyo and captured visitors in micro rooms that look like carton boxes. Kim wrote that the hostel is located in an office building. It is composed of a few hallways, along which the proprietor has built tiny living compartments separated only by unfinished plywood. The “rooms” do not have windows or doors, only a curtain. The ceiling is so low that tenants can only sit or lie. Some of the people stay there for several days until they find a proper place to live, the rest stay here for long time.

“For me, the real interest of the resulting portraits is in how each resident has made use of a such a small, confining space. Some of the interiors are spartan, perhaps occupied by people who are staying only for a short time. Others are full of possessions, often complete with hanging wardrobes and improvised bookshelves—even “decorated.” Of these, some are neat and orderly and others are chaotic, with personal items strewn everywhere. In each case, the sharply-defined space and its contents tell something about its occupant’s personality, and his or her ability to function in such a strange, enclosed environment,” writes the photographer.


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