For four years, photographer Michael Wolf explored life in Hong Kong by studying the exterior of its apartment towers. When cropped and textualized, facades of residential buildings become something other than architecture, but grids of information, charts, data, colorful patterns.
He writes in an artist statement: “Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities on the planet with most of its population living in skyscraping, concrete tower blocks. The city’s architecture is driven by function, not form, and one tower block can only be distinguished from the next by the bold colour schemes of its façade. …”
This Hong Kong with neither ground nor sky becomes an imagined, symbolic city, where density is pushed to its limits. Although this city is all but deserted, these images act like cross-sections of an urban anthill, encouraging the viewer to wonder about the thousands of lives contained within these structures.”
The pictures, taken between 2003 and 2007, were compiled and released in a book called Architecture of Density. Wolf’s dedicated much of his career to exploring the transformation of Asian metropolises with his camera, from the exteriors of buildings to interior spaces and portraits as well.