To foreigners, South Korea is known for its advanced technology, impressive skyscrapers, delicious food, and honorable traditions. However, there is a side of the country that visitors rarely see, such as ‘Goshiwon’ and Goshitels. These tiny, cramped, cheap housing units are what called as goshitel or goshiwon. This is where the South Korea’s poorest community lives. South Korean photographer Sim Kyu-dong spent around 5 years living in Goshitels in Seoul. When he moved there for work and documented the lives of the people there with his camera.
The photographer, Sim Kyu-Dong who arrived from Gangneung in Gangwon Province.He had no other choice because of the rent for Goshitels. Goshitels were extremely cheap, there was no need for a deposit, and there were no maintenance fees.
Goshitel rooms are very similar to dormitory rooms. They have shared kitchen areas and bathrooms, and attracts a lot of students and migrant workers. Meanwhile, Goshitels room is slightly more spacious but much barer. Goshiwon and Goshitel are often used as synonyms in South Korea.
Here we have gathered 15 powerful Pictures of Goshitels by Sim Kyu-Dong
Sim Kyu-Dong wanted to capture the true existence of the people living in overwhelmingly cramped and claustrophobic conditions in one of Seoul’s forgotten provinces. Pictures show residents cramming themselves into tiny beds, taking showers in sinks next to where they sleep. And also cooking meals in tiny kitchen spaces by their belongings piled high on the floor.
Goshiwon doesn’t require a deposit or maintenance fees, just cheap rent, So it’s relatively easy to move from one building to another.
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