Photographer Spotlight: Michael Wolf / LA Review of Books / 2014

Photographer Spotlight: Michael Wolf / LA Review of Books / 2014


Footnotes

The reactions I have had to HKFDBD by the Hong Kong people have been ambivalent - those who have traveled and have a cultural education usually can appreciate the images on an intellectual level, but their gut reaction is often “your images of Hong Kong are so ugly and dirty and not very favourable to us - can’t you find something beautiful to photograph?”. They are also very concerned about what these images reveal about themselves - laundry hanging out to dry for strangers to see and back alley improvisations are not their idea of a progressive and modern city. But for me, this unique vernacular culture is what makes Hong Kong a visually interesting place and gives it character, other than Singapore, for instance, which many Hong Kongers see as a role model. Singapore is for the most part a horribly boring city - its policy of urban renewal has in fact turned the city into one big shopping mall. This is happening in Hong Kong also - traditional Hong Kong neighborhoods are being torn down to make way for hotels, office buildings and shopping malls. Regretfully in Asia, progress is equated with tearing down the old and bringing in the new, so within 10 years, most of the traditional, older parts of the cites will have vanished. This is a great loss and will, I am sure, be one day deeply regretted by city planners. ➡︎


Sources

◼︎ A Conversation with Michael Wolf / Joerg Colberg / Conscientious / 2006


De Canvasconnectie: Michael Wolf / VRT Television / 2014

De Canvasconnectie: Michael Wolf / VRT Television / 2014

City Life Through a Photographer's Lens / Wall Street Journal / 2013

City Life Through a Photographer's Lens / Wall Street Journal / 2013