A scenery of the cafe that I took in the Starbucks made me to publish my first photo book in 2019. At that time, I didn’t expect that photographs made from the cafe would become one of my photographic series. It just attracted me so I spent a lot of time there. I felt the urge to make a story from the question about “If there weren’t cafe, where could have people gone to?” and then I realized why I am attracted to them.
Most of things have got changed by the urbanization. Cafe is one of those. In the early 1990s South Korea, most of people didn’t enjoy the cafe culture in the same way as current people do. In the past, we tended to spend time at home with the front door opened. We more tended to visit our neighbor’s or friend’s home without any reason. As time goes by, people kept the front door closed. In more correct, they didn’t need to keep the front door opened and they didn’t need to visit their home anymore. They just went to the cafe instead.
A lot of cafes have increased at a tremendous rate in South Korea. They have become an alternative to places such as a home, a library, a park, an office and etc. When they didn’t have a specific place where they would go, they went to the cafe with no any reason. In the place, they were alone and they weren’t alone at the same time. I saw the people isolated whether they are alone or not, including me. Since then I started to explore how I can escape from the Isolation.
We are living in the middle of the pandemic now. It made ‘Isolation’ represents the scenery of the past even though I captured it with presentness at that time.
It is so ironic.