Traveling in Southeast Asia, photographer Chris Hilton barely noticed the plastic chairs. But when he realized they were in almost every shot, he gave them the starring role.

I never set out to take photographs of plastic chairs. I was usually responding to a flicker of light, a color, a shape, a movement, or a whole host of other visual catalysts. But as my trip through Southeast Asia progressed, I saw the theme start to emerge from the photographs I’d taken; there were so many plastic chairs in so many shots. And why wouldn’t there be? The chairs are everywhere.

In fact, there were so many that, after a while, you simply stop noticing. But even if your mind filters them out, the camera doesn’t. That’s what helped me to see them, and once I did, I couldn’t stop looking. And the more I looked, the more I realized hardly anyone else was. So I started snapping.