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An American Photographer in Hong Kong, Part 2: The Architecture of Density Series

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Part 1 of Michael Wolf’s photography from Hong Kong presented images from the artist’s “Real Fake Art” series; it also contained a biography of Wolf.  You can view Part 1 by clicking here.

Wolf began his Architecture of Density photographic series in 2003, and the ones below are easier – for me - to enjoy as “art” than any of his “Real Fake Art” photographs in Part 1.  The Architecture of Density photographs all have balance, and colors used for contrast and effect.   Whereas - for me – the “Real Fake Art” photographs in Part 1 could as well be described as “reportage” photographs as “art” photographs.

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Howsoever, for depicting a culture, Wolf’s not including any people in his Architecture of Density series is pretty daring, to my mind.  And I wonder if he’s been influenced by the enormous advances in overhead photography in the last decade, which can remove people effectively from landscapes and show an infinite variety of “un-peopled” pictorial representations, just by photographing the Earth’s surface.  As we shall see in Part 3, Wolf’s “Back Doors Series” of photographs is also “un-peopled.”

Artist Works Catalogue’s introduction to its collection of 19 of Michael Wolf’s Architecture of Density photographs reads: 

“For this series Wolf turns his lens on the vast high-rises of Hong Kong, exploring notions of public and private space. Wolf's photographs of the towering facades of this "architecture of density" offer at first a compelling sense of abstraction and upon a closer look an abundance of details.  The images capture both the striking presence of the buildings themselves and the traces of individual lives, or minute human interventions that mark them.  Images from this series were featured in Wolf’s monograph Hong Kong: Front Door/Back Door, which was published by Thames & Hudson in 2004.”

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(All words in quotation marks and images are courtesy of artnet and its Artist Works Catalogues.  At its AWC, there is this: “artnet offers these catalogues free to the public as an educational resource. Simply click on an individual artist's image to begin, and check back often to browse new catalogues.”)  

 

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)
 

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