Compact Living in Hong Kong

Benny Lam photographed the tiny rooms, and it’s residents, in Hong Kong’s Grass Roots Living situations. “Grass Roots Living symbolizes the average households living in large public housing complexes in urban or new town areas. In many cases, parents, children and the elderly live together.” (srce). The result of Benny Lams’s work was exhibited under the name “Trapped” in 2014 and was hosted by the Society for Community Organization (SoCO).

We, at Mimi Berlin, spent hours looking at these photo’s, there is so much to see!
They also bring us just enough out of our own comfort-zone, which we like; it opens up unknown possibilities. We started wondering if we could live in such a small space. Would or could we live compact if we moved to Hong Kong?

We like the hustle and bustle of city life and want to be in the middle of that, in Hong Kong we would have to move to a so called Compact City Life neighborhood. Next to public Grass Roots Living you also have similar dwellings in Compact City Life neighborhoods (srce), with private owned housing. It is said that apartments (studios? units?) in Hong Kong are, on average, 50 cents higher per square foot than the estimated average of a New York City rental. Keeping that in mind:
If we moved to this crowded city we’d probably have to live the Compact City Life as well (liking it but spending as little time as possible at home).

(images via


Won Kim Enclosed: Living Small

Won Kim Enclosed: Living Small

Photographer Won Kim shot these portraits of the guests staying (short stay visitors and permanent residents) at a D.I.Y. hotel (No, it’s not a “theme hotel” it just looks like it’s made by a non-builder) in Arakawa-ku, a county in northeastern Tokyo.
The unnamed hotel is situated in an office building, taking up one floor. (it looks more like half a floor, as in the movie Being John Malkovich; or maybe the cubicles are stacked?)
We tried to book this “hotel” but couldn’t find it on the web. Never mind, we obviously don’t wanna sleep there anyways, would you?
Won Kim DID sleep there and went back, in 2014, to take these portraits for his project Enclosed: Living Small read all about that here and here. Make sure you do, it’s interesting.

(images Won Kim©)