And you thought your apartment was a bit cramped. While wandering across Japan in 2013, photographer Won Kim discovered a Tokyo hostel that offered tiny rooms with virtually no headroom, no windows, and only a curtain for privacy. He returned last year to document the lives of people living here (most of them permanently) in a series called ‘Enclosed: Living Small’.
Having booked himself a space in the hostel for a few months, Kim went about befriending residents to get to know more about their simple lifestyles. He even offered them 15-minute shoulder massages in exchange for taking their photos.
The images he came back with show how each person was able to adapt to their tiny living space. The short-term guests only came with the basic necessities, like their luggage. Those permanently decorated their plywood walls with books, clothes, and other belongings.
‘For me, the real interest of the resulting portraits is in how each resident has made use of such a small, confining space’, Kim wrote. ‘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’.