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HKFP Lens: Hong Kong’s disappearing corner houses captured by the late Michael Wolf

Hunting Hong Kong Free Press

Award-winning German photographer Michael Wolf passed away this week on Cheung Chau aged 65.HKFP shares his series of the city’s disappearing corner houses, courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Following on from Architecture of Density, Wolf’s corner
'Award-winning German photographer Michael Wolf passed away this week on Cheung Chau aged 65.HKFP shares his series of the city’s disappearing corner houses, courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.Following on from Architecture of Density , Wolf’s corner house collection examines an often underappreciated phenomenon.These charming, residential-commercial buildings of the 1950s and ’60s are often overlooked in the high-density, vertical city – and they are rapidly disappearing.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.Born in Munich in 1954, Wolf was raised in the United States, Canada, and Europe.He attended college at the University of California, Berkeley and later received a degree in visual communication from the University of Essen.He moved to Hong Kong in 1994 while working as a photojournalist for  Stern  magazine, and started working under his own name from 2002 onwards.See also:  Hong Kong’s mind-boggling density showcased in the late Michael Wolf’s classic photo series Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.The photographic presentation captures the inherent paradoxes of the typology’s architectural character: its quiet prominence, the attractiveness of its banality, and the tectonic chaos and vibrancy that give urban Hong Kong its endearing quality.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.Wolf’s works are available via the Blue Lotus Gallery store , and  via Book Depository.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery.Michael Wolf’s Corner Houses.Courtesy: Blue Lotus Gallery. . The post HKFP Lens: Hong Kong’s disappearing corner houses captured by the late Michael Wolf appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP . Author: HKFP Lens .'

‘An extraordinary eye’: Michael Wolf, famed photographer who shot Hong Kong’s ‘Architecture of Density,’ dies aged 65

Hunting Hong Kong Free Press

Photographer Michael Wolf has passed away suddenly in his apartment in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, according to the Hague Museum of Photography.He was 65.The museum said it received the news on Thursday, but did not give further details.Wolf is survived
'Photographer Michael Wolf has passed away suddenly in his apartment in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong, according to the Hague Museum of Photography.He was 65.The museum said it received the news on Thursday, but did not give further details.Wolf is survived by his wife Barbara and son Jasper, the museum said.Michael Wolf.Photo: 一条 screenshot, via YouTube.Wolf was born in Munich, Germany in 1954, and was raised in the United States, Canada, and Europe.He attended college at the University of California, Berkeley and later received a degree in visual communication from the University of Essen.He moved to Hong Kong in 1994 while working as a photojournalist for  Stern magazine, and started working under his own name from 2002 onwards.Best known locally for his photography series “ Architecture of Density ” (2009), Wolf depicted residential blocks as dense patterns with a sense of claustrophobia.Wolf described his work as focusing on “life in mega-cities,” which also included photographs of old neighbourhoods.A photo from the series Architecture of Density.Photo: Michael Wolf. “A lot of people know me by now and my photos make them aware of their own identity and culture. [It’s] a culture which should be preserved,” Wolf said of his work in a 2016 interview . “What I learnt from Michael was that it takes an extraordinary eye to see the ordinary, no matter how small or strange that is,” local artist Kacey Wong told HKFP on Friday. “Once captured, it is ordinary no more.A quick and calm foreign eye, with a critical mindset that is always observing and detecting, noticing all those strange little pictures that make up the big picture of Hong Kong.” “Thank you Michael, a true HongKonger you are in my book – thank you for letting us see the Extraordinary Hong Kong,” he added.Local artist Kacey Wong remembers Michael Wolf - click to view \t\t\t\t My connection with Michael goes way back when he was here Hong Kong as a reporter.As his photography work started developing, we even had group exhibitions together and got to know each other quite well.As his career started picking up, we didn’t see each other that much but still kept in touch via Instagram – he always liked my strange photos, especially my one-eyed cat.Quick in the brain and in his sense of humour, with criticality to converse with, always looking at issues with interesting insights.He told me he used to work as a photographer shooting high school student’s graduation photographs in order to survive – how boring could that have been?Maybe this experience provided the foundation for him to observe the ordinary carefully?One time, I purchased a large work of his – a photograph shows a wire fence with some disposable cups stuck onto it, a detail of an urban street corner which I found very Hong Kong.People want to throw away their garbage but don’t want to dump it on the street, so they just pushed it into the holes of the wire fence.I also collected a very small photograph of his, showing some roasted ducks being hung on a balcony with a housing estate in the background – that photo is still hung on my kitchen door.He later told me I was the first Hong Kong person who actually bought his artwork – I was so shocked to hear that, since he was so famous already in my mind.He said museums around the world collected his photography work, but not the museums in Hong Kong for some strange reason.I tried to comfort him by saying that seeing one’s own culture is difficult, it is like a blindspot – maybe the museums think it is nothing new since these urban landscapes are so “ordinary” on every street corner.As Michael’s reputation grew, the local museums did finally collect his work – I was very happy for him.What I learnt from Michael was that it takes an extraordinary eye to see the ordinary, no matter how small or strange that is.Once captured, it is ordinary no more.A quick and calm foreign eye, with a critical mindset that is always observing and detecting, noticing all those strange little pictures that make up the big picture of Hong Kong.Thank you Michael, a true HongKonger you are in my book – thank you for letting us see the Extraordinary Hong Kong.Wolf won the top prize from the World Press Photo Awards in 2005 and 2010, among other accolades.His work on China, including a portrait series of the country’s factory workers, also gained widespread acclaim.Embed from Getty Images His other works include more than 30 photobooks, including  Inside/Outside (2009), Real Fake Art (2011), Tokyo Compression (2010), Transparent City (2008),  Hong Kong: Front Door/Back Door (2005), and Sitting in China (2002). Additional Reporting: Tom Grundy.  . The post ‘An extraordinary eye’: Michael Wolf, famed photographer who shot Hong Kong’s ‘Architecture of Density,’ dies aged 65 appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP . Author: Holmes Chan .'