But Slinkachu — the U.K. street artist who previously brought you the Inner City Snail Project — is no more invested in arguing about the causes behind the modern condition than he is in arguing for "solutions" to it. What he's interested in is expressing the solitary, uncertain side of contemporary life — and inviting people both to recognize themselves in it and to share in some common self-deprecating irony about it.
For the Little People Project, which he started back in 2006, Slinkachu has been remodeling and painting miniature model-train-set figures, leaving them on the streets of cities around the world and photographing them. "The street-based side of my work plays with the notion of surprise and I aim to encourage city-dwellers to be more aware of their surroundings," he says. "The scenes I set up ... aim to reflect the loneliness and melancholy of living in a big city, almost being lost and overwhelmed. But underneath this, there is always some humour. I want people to be able to empathise with the tiny people in my works."
Here are some examples, collected the new book, Global Model Village ...
See many more of these compelling photos over at The Atlantic.