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HKFP Lens: Alexis Ip and Stefan Irvine capture Hong Kong’s disappearing architecture and street culture

Culture and Entertainment Hong Kong Free Press

An upcoming duo exhibition, titled RECONSTRUCT, features Alexis Ip‘s scenes of nostalgic street vendors, juxtaposed with Stefan Irvine‘s scientifically accurate panoramas of the disappearing tong laus.The exhibition will be held from August 9 to
'An upcoming duo exhibition, titled RECONSTRUCT, features Alexis Ip ‘s scenes of nostalgic street vendors, juxtaposed with  Stefan Irvine ‘s scientifically accurate panoramas of the disappearing tong laus . ‘Waterloo Road, Yau Ma Tei’ by Stefan Irvine and Jörg Dietrich.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.The exhibition will be held from August 9 to September 15, at Blue Lotus Gallery at 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan. ‘Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po’ by Stefan Irvine and Jörg Dietrich.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Stefan Irvine’s work focuses predominantly on Hong Kong’s Chinese “shophouse” buildings – a type of tenement architecture at one time popular throughout southern China for both residential and commercial use. ‘The Blue House, Wan Chai’ by Stefan Irvine and Jörg Dietrich.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Irvine often makes several trips to each location, painstakingly capturing the entire facade of the buildings at precise intervals and distances. ‘Wah Fu Estate, Pok Fu Lam’ by Stefan Irvine and Jörg Dietrich.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.In collaboration with digital artist Jörg Dietrich, the images are digitally merged and manipulated into one expansive, seamless image, creating a singular visualisation of an entire city block. ‘To Kwa Wan Road’ by Stefan Irvine and Jörg Dietrich.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.This stitched perspective allows the viewer to experience the life of a whole street with greater detail and more information than can be achieved in one single shot. ‘Tung Shing Lei Road, Yuen Long’ by Stefan Irvine and Jörg Dietrich.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Several of the blocks showcased in the series, including Shanghai Street’s listed shophouses, have been earmarked for demolition or significant redevelopment by Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Authority. ‘Wai Kee Aquarium (Wanchai)’ by Alexis Ip.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Ip’s renditions of street scenes and vendors reflect his childhood memories of growing up around Kowloon City.Through his collages he reorganises his photographs back to its original three dimensional state, highlighting the quirky and creative aspects to how street vendors display their products. ‘Shun Fat Steel Utensils’ by Alexis Ip.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.The technique itself points at the innumerable details and layers that exist in the real life scenes by cutting each one out. ‘Barber Shop and Locksmith’ by Alexis Ip.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery. “Normally we see everything three-dimensionally but in photography everything is turned two dimensional,” Ip said. “What is so special about my works is the two dimensional is turned back into three dimensional though many layers.” ‘Chau Kee Paper Offerings’ by Alexis Ip.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery. “As a result the most ordinary street scenes like a vegetable or fruit vendor which people hardly pay attention to become magical.” ‘Fa Yuen Street’ by Alexis Ip.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery.Blue Lotus Gallery said that both artists tell stories of Hong Kong’s rich heritage by responding to its disappearing architecture and street culture. ‘Lung Kee Dried Seafood (Tsuen Wan)’ by Alexis Ip.Photo courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery. “Art imitates life and RECONSTRUCT shows two artists who creatively reorganise reality in order for us to see it more clearly, and in effect better remember, cherish and learn from it,” said a gallery representative. . The post HKFP Lens: Alexis Ip and Stefan Irvine capture Hong Kong’s disappearing architecture and street culture appeared first on Hong Kong Free Press HKFP . Author: HKFP Lens .'