The Dreamers.

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Love Hotel

When a sign that says ‘no entry’ suddenly catches your eye, does your desire to bear witness to the unknown lurking behind the door make you want to sneak through the forbidden entrance? Like many of us, New York-photographer Grace Kim is fascinated by the forbidden, which is why she used her camera to explore the tension between love and societal expectation in South Korea. Considered to be one of the world’s oldest cultures, traditional Korean culture impresses a number of strict rules and regulations upon society – especially when it comes to love. For those who find themselves in a forbidden romance, a Love Hotel is the place where couples often seek refuge. Each Love Hotel has a discreet entrance and, to ensure that the couple experiences minimal embarrassment, the hotel receptionist sits behind a screen. For her Love Hotel photo project, Grace Kim was permitted to enter hotel rooms just after the secret lovers went their separate ways. What she found was air thick with tension and energy, and the remnants of an unwritten love affair. For the photographer, the excitement lay in being able to observe something she shouldn’t have been observing, and the mystery that lingered in each room. Each photograph explores the connection between love, culture and rebellion – with the rest of the story being left up to your own imagination.