Artist Spends 20 Years Sketching South Korea’s Little Convenience Stores
South Korean artist Me Kyeoung Lee sees beauty even in mundane everyday objects. Her sketches of local convenience stores are a charming and skillful take on what other people might miss out.
Lee has been documenting these little corner shops for the past 20 years. “There were not many things to see and play like these days,” says the artist about her youth. “But there was a time when I was happy to have a coin in my hands and run to a shop and hang out with friends gathered in front of it.”
The artist usually picks a muted, pastel color palette for her acrylic ink sketches. She draws attention to the welcoming facades, stacked shelves, and friendly gardens outside. Each scene has its own unique features and no two look alike.
For an outsider, such importance of convenience stores may seem odd, but considering their striking abundance in South Korea (33,000 exist today), it’s natural that locals view them not as buildings, but more like an integral part of culture.