The Lotte Department Store is well known for its impressive array of high-end brands under one roof — this is, indeed, Gucci and Balenciaga territory. But there is a brand new space that is attempting to offer something that clothes and accessories cannot: the idea of owning serial art.
Enter 291 Photographs, a retail space that sells cameras, photographs and photo books.
The 438-sq-m spot, designed by Seoul-based firm Labotory, has been a quick hit with shoppers, not just for the juxtaposition of it all — it does look out of place in the middle of Lotte’s usual offerings — but also for the complex beauty of its display elements.
That’s because, through these features, the space tries to tell the story of photography. For example, the main one is called Viewfinder, a reference to the small square of glass on top of a camera used to see what to include in the picture. At 291, the Viewfinder was designed by overlapping transparent and translucent material in order to create alternate perspectives from different points of view.
Besides photographs and a selection of cameras and specialised equipment, the store also offers didactic activities such as seminars — you can now understand why it’s become a haven for both dedicated collectors and photography amateurs.