Empty Urban Life Photographed In Seoul

Berlin-based photographer Michael Gessner’s series ‘Seoul’ depicts the South Korean capital as a curiously empty architectural space.

Seoul is a city known for being unrivalled in terms of making great strides in modernization, technological advancements, and pop-culture. Here, palaces meet street markets and temples are juxtaposed against skyscrapers. The abundant and sprawling cultural scene of Seoul finds form in its lively nightlife, neon-lit restaurants and an abundance of entertainment options. However, contrary to the usual hustle-and-bustle of the thriving capital, the photographic series by Gessner seems calm—devoid of city goers, traffic, or movement of any kind. The city appears deserted; absent of any human synergy, save for a mild eeriness that permeates each image. Gessner’s work raises questions on observation and perception by inviting us to consider the architectural landscape in separation from those who created it. Does the city carry on without us? Or does it remain stagnant?

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All images © Michael Gessner

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