What is it about the cracking paint, the crumbling brick and the ominous silence of deserted buildings that intrigues us so? They become more complex and interesting as the natural processes of decay take over and as layered debris tells more and more stories as the years go by. Different kinds of structures are forsaken for various reasons – sometimes disaster strikes and there is no funding to rebuild or in other cases a building’s use simply expires. The Thu Thiem area (pictured) in District 2 across the river from downtown Saigon has an array of barely standing houses mostly on the streets of Luong Dinh Cua and Tran Nao. On the following pages, some are fortunate enough to get a second life like the one in Daegu, South Korea – a burnt apartment block in the city center turned into a makeshift art space by local youth, and sometimes as a home for squatters.
Local metalworker Ly Minh Tien builds a spider-like walking machine to raise awareness on environmental issues A riddle: what has 12 legs, six on either side, and is made of metal? It’s not a metal spider, but that guess isn’t far off. A fitting comparison: “You know the movie Wild Wild West?”, its builder and