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Architecture of Density (3rd edition)

Text by Natàsha Egan and Emest Chui
Photography by Michael Wolf

HK$ 380.00

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Published by Asia One Books with Peperoni Books
Text by: Natàsha Egan and Emest Chui
Photography by: Michael Wolf
October 2012
310 x 240 mm
1.20 kg
128 pages



This book is the republished version of Hong Kong Outside, which was part of the two-book set Hong Kong Inside Outside.

Focused on the specific visual elements Michael Wolf has depicted high density living in one of the world’s most crowded cities like nobody has before. For Architecture of Density, Wolf fashioned a distinctive style of photography. He removes any sky or horizon line from the frame and flattens the space until it becomes a relentless abstraction of urban expansion, with no escape for the viewer’s eye. Wolf photographs crumbling buildings in need of repair, brand new buildings under construction covered in bamboo scaffolding, as well as fully occupied residential complexes. Wolf’s disorienting vantage point gives the viewer the feeling that the buildings extend indefinitely, which perhaps is the spatial experience of Hong Kong’s inhabitants.

Alert observers can also spot many traces of life on the facades, caused by inhabitants and users.


About the photographer

The focus of the German photographer Michael Wolf’s work is life in mega cities. Many of his projects document the architecture and the vernacular culture of metropolises. Wolf grew up in Canada, Europe and the United States, studying at UC Berkeley and at the Folkwang School with Otto Steinert in Essen, Germany. He moved to Hong Kong in 1994 where he worked for 8 years as contract photographer for Stern magazine. Since 2001, Wolf has been focusing on his own projects, many of which have appeared as books. Wolf’s work has been exhibited in numerous locations, including the Venice Bienniale for Architecture, Aperture Gallery, New York, Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere, Museum for Work in Hamburg, Germany, Hong Kong Shenzhen Biennial, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. His work is held in permanent collections across the USA and Germany, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, California, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Museum Folkwang, Essen and the German Museum for Architecture, Frankfurt.

He has won a first prize in the World Press Photo Award Competition on two occasions (2005 & 2010) and an honorable mention (2011). In 2010, Wolf was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet photography prize.