Every now and then I will throw in a Lonely Chair in Korea. It was one of the first odd, almost creepy observations I made about this country. Broken and abandoned, these miserable chairs are scattered all over Korea – on mountain slopes, submerged in rivers, lying on their sides on streets and in the middle of parking lots.
And no one knows why they are there. It’s definitely not some abstract, artsy project being carried out by someone in Korea because people would be talking about it. In fact, most people only become aware of this phenomenon when I ask about it.
And what is more puzzling is how common the chairs are. They are so common that Koreans will walk past them without sparing them half a glance, just like how you would walk past a light pole on the street without paying any attention to it.
When I showed one of my colleagues some of my findings, she was incredibly embarrassed. To her they painted an ugly picture of Korea; they were nothing but an eyesore, and understandably so. But to me these chairs are small gems which trigger a bolt of delight in my heart whenever I stumble upon them.
So now I do what any normal person would do when they discover that there are chairs discarded randomly all over the country: I photograph them. I have captured over 300 chairs in my four years living here.
Here’s to another 300.