Have you ever lost a glove and, somewhere between ransacking your house for it and declaring it a lost cause, wondered whether it’s floating around somewhere in the street, having developed a life of its own? Here in New York, weeks’ worth of snow and ice are melting at street curbs, exposing all sorts of hidden treasure. Yoonjin Lee, a young graphic designer about to graduate from SVA and a student of street artist Ji Lee, finds compelling objects in this very vulnerable state and captures them on camera, but not before outfitting them with tiny arms and cardboard signs reminiscent of those held by homeless people. Each object has a photo to record Lee (also known as Zoonzin)’s moment of personification – using a macro lens to turn surrounding debris into rich landscapes – as well as a video that usually features melodramatic music.
“Little Lost Project” is just one of several in Zoonzin’s repertoire that raise awareness of our use and consumption of small, everyday objects. Another short film she created tells the short, inevitably tragic story of a pair of purple socks that lasted her for three years. Other projects of hers salvage the alphabet from corner trash cans and tell her story through clothing and candy. As we become more conscientious consumers, it would behoove many of us to think about the importance of such seemingly generic but actually deeply personal items to our identities and daily routines. Check out some more “Little Lost” items below; all can be found on the Little Lost Project Tumblr.