Many of the houses show signs of rushed exits. While Yangban Tal sets up another shot inside the bedroom of one home, the Australian digs through an old office space. The desk and drawers still remain and are full of old belongings: a collection of CDs, DVDs and other nick-knacks.
“When there is this much stuff left behind, it’s a good sign that the people left in a hurry,” said Yangban Tal.
“I got into it originally for the adventure,” he said. “But eventually I started to think my photos could be making a difference politically. People are free to read certain messages into my work, which I think are pretty undeniable.”
It’s not always well received, though. After publishing a series on abandoned amusement parks he received a cease-and-desist request asking him to take the photos down, fearing that they would make Korea look bad. He’s not the only one to have received such requests.