Lonely Planet Writer

South Korea’s pastel-perfect schoolyards captured in style

One of the best aspects of travel is getting the opportunity to explore a completely different way of life, taking the time to get to know a location’s unique cultural identity, food and even architecture. For Spanish photographer Andrés Gallardo Albajar, the latter has proven to be especially inspiring, and a recent trip to South Korea saw him documenting a series of beautiful, pastel-perfect schoolyards in a number of different locations.

A pastel-hued schoolyard in Busan.
A pastel-hued schoolyard in Busan. Image by Andrés Gallardo Albajar

“The project came about sort of by accident. I was wandering around in Seoul and at some point, I found myself in a school yard. I got fascinated by its symmetry, pastel hues, and unique elements such as trees, old clocks, football goals or an alphabet that I couldn’t understand. After that first shot, I immediately knew I’d like to visit more schools and try to make a consistent photo series,” Andrés explained to Lonely Planet Travel News.

A schoolyard in Seoul.
A schoolyard in Seoul. Image by Andrés Gallardo Albajar

After that initial image, the photographer spent six days exploring other schoolyards across Seoul and Busan, travelling by foot and taking pictures at as many new locations as possible. The final collection of shots shows a distinct style, with the buildings all sharing a similar aesthetic.

Andrés spent one week capturing images for the project. Image by Andrés Gallardo Albajar

Conscious of not taking any images with children in them without permission, Andrés said that one of the most difficult aspects of the project was choosing the right time to get into the schools to get shots. After publishing the collection online, the photographer received positive comments from around the world.

The photographer said the series came about my accident, after he took one initial picture of a schoolyard her was passing. Image by Andrés Gallardo Albajar

“The reaction has been much better than I could have expected. I have had many people giving me very nice feedback, especially about the originality of the project and the pleasant aesthetics of it. Some local people even told me that the images evoked some very nice memories from their childhood,” Andrés said.

More of Andrés’ work is available at this official website.