Sad Photoshoot Reveals Grim Reality Of Living In Hong Kong's Coffin Cubicles

Lauren Freeman

Journalist

We all know capsule hotels in Japan, where people can stay in "room" not that much bigger than a coffin. In Hong Kong, such living takes on more sordid take: coffin cubicles are 400 square feet flats illegally divided to accommodate 20 double-decker beds. Benny Lam is an artist and photographer documenting the plight of the people living in these spaces where you don't even have enough room to stand.

Lam has grown so accustomed to coffin cubicles that while photographing a slightly larger cubicle once, he blurted to the tenant, “You have a big coffin home!” “I felt so bad,” Lam told the press. “Living like that should never be normal. I had become numb.” Lam documents these squalid living conditions in his series called “Trapped.” “You may wonder why we should care, as these people are not a part of our lives,” Lam writes about the project on his Facebook page. “They are exactly the people who come into your life every single day: they are serving you as the waiters in the restaurants where you eat, they are the security guards in the shopping malls you wander around, or the cleaners and the delivery men on the streets you pass through. The only difference between us and them is [their homes]. This is a question of human dignity.”

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