Love padlocks have been around for a long time (probably just as long as there have been locks), but this is the first time I’ve ever photographed them. They’re interesting in the way graffiti can sometimes be interesting to read as little stories, as temporary as graffiti, and as damaging to public property as graffiti (rust). Whether you regard them as an eyesore or embrace them as art, I doubt they’ll go away anytime soon.
On some locations the padlocks have been given special attributed of an almost legendary or superstitious character:
- In Fengyuan, Taiwan love padlocks affixed to an overpass at the city’s train station are often affixed in pairs. These locks are known as “wish locks” and local legend holds that the magnetic field generated by trains passing underneath will cause energy to accumulate in the locks and fulfill the wishes.
- On a fountain in Montevideo in Uruguay, a plaque is affixed to the front of the fountain that provides an explanation in both English and Spanish. The English version of the text reads, “The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked.“