Photographer Shows Life In South Korea’s 4m² Apartments

Life in South Korea is very different from other countries and even more so when you compare them with those of the West, perhaps because of its advanced technology, its spectacular buildings or its traditions and customs, however, if something is clear it is that it seems that the small country is gaining more and more ground in the tourism field.

When we see the photographs or videos of the life of South Koreans, the desire to travel to that place increases, but how much do you know or know about the reality of South Korea? Photographer Sim Kyu-dong spent around 5 years living in Goshiwon in Seoul, also known as ‘Goshitel’ – very small and cheap apartments where poor people live.

With everything and a camera, the South Korean by birth documented his entire process and experience. The tiny apartments are cheap and do not ask for deposits, in addition to having kitchen and toilet areas, because of their layout they are good accommodation for students or immigrant workers.

Below is a bit of Sim Kyu-dong’s work and the almost suffocating South Korean homes.

The goshiteles are spaces of 3 to 4 square meters.

Instagram / simkyudong

Approximately 50 years ago they were built for students with the intention that they could concentrate and thus get the best possible grades for the “goshi”, that is, the most demanding exams in the country.

Instagram / simkyudong

The name comes from “goshiwon”, which later became “goshitel” (“Goshi” + “hotel”).

Instagram / simkyudong

The photographer in charge of this project moved there for work and documented his lifestyle through the lens of his camera.

Instagram / simkyudong

The price varies between 175 and 350 dollars per month, depending on the area, and they are provided with a bed, a desk and a small closet, where you can store a few personal items.

Instagram / simkyudong

Statistics have indicated that a high percentage of depression and anxiety has been detected among those who live there.

Instagram / simkyudong

The reality is very similar to Japan, another Asian country that continues to grow at a rapid pace and that its infrastructure requires more and more space.

Instagram / simkyudong

The quality / price ratio has nothing to do with these cabins, most of them do not even have windows.

Instagram / simkyudong

Due to its size, only one person may be able to live there and not even do so comfortably.

Instagram / simkyudong

“GOSHIWON IS ACTUALLY DESIGNED FOR TEST TAKERS PREPARING FOR VARIOUS TESTS, SUCH AS THE STATE BAR EXAM OR CIVIL SERVICE EXAMS. I USED GOSHIWON EVERY TIME I LEAVE HOME AND STAY IN SEOUL. IT WAS A GOOD ACCOMMODATION”

Instagram /  simkyudong

Reductionism explained in a single image.

It is usually the first option for many people who have financial problems.

However, it is the reality that you may not know about South Korea.

Instagram / simkyudong

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