AN ARCHITECTURE OF DENSITY: MICHAEL WOLF


I see it a bit as my mission to document things in Hong Kong which are vanishing, which are disappearing, primarily through urban renewal.



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The structural urban fabric of the city of Hong Kong is one of the most astonishingly condensed, populated and vertical in the world, propelling its edifices soaring into the sky to contend with the lack of lateral space. 


“Architecture of Density” is a photo series by photographer Michael Wolf in which he captures the immense scale and incredible intricacies of the city of Hong Kong.




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Michael Wolf’s photography is that of an outsider, born in Germany, raised in the United states and Canada, returning to Germany to study photography before spending the vast majority of his career in Asia, his work defies categorisation. What distinguishes him from others is his acute ability to find the symbolic value in those seemingly insignificant details that so often go unnoticed. From this perspective, Wolf has been able to produce a body of work, which deals with the more universal reality of contemporary city life.




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"Architecture of Density" is a collection of large scale works, which focuses on repetition of pattern and form to cause an infinitely complex visual reaction and rediscovers the city scenes by highlighting its forest like expanse of high rises.


The work investigates the socio-cultural phenomena of Hong Kong’s rapid expansion and ever-expanding architectural anatomy, while also allowing for an unconventional peer into the inhabitants who occupy it. Wolf’s compositions are laced with evidence of human life — clothes lines, plants, mops and air conditioning units survey.


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This dystopian vision of the Hong Kong city resonates a lot with most of us due to the current scenario of the world. It all feels so surreal. There is hope, but at times, it does not leave much room for hope. There are no escape lines. There is no connection with reality and human presence can only be intuited by exploring the microscopic details of each single image.


"Architecture of Density" was originally part of another book called "Hong Kong Inside Outside" .










Written by

Karvishi Agarwal

Photos by

Michael Wolf Website


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