Hong Kong high-rise

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So lately I’ve been getting into some of the photography and writing that’s been done on Hong Kong, just off mainland China. I know it’s still nominally autonomous, but it’s been moving toward full integration for some time now. Last I checked it was still considered a “special administrative” zone within China proper.

Anyway, the only exposure I’d really had to Hong Kong had come through television and film. First through Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978) and then the “White Ghost” (1996) episode of the British police procedural Cracker. Both are great, by the way, so I’d highly encourage you to watch them if you have any interest. Recently, however, I came across the German photographer Michael Wolf’s Architecture of Density series (2013). These photographs depict the numerous, eerily colorful high-rises that crowd the skyline of Hong Kong.

You can see a number of them in very high resolution just by clicking on the small icons below. They’ve been assembled from various places around the internet, though the Tumblr blog Architecture of Doom probably deserves special mention.

It took me a while to figure out what made these images so striking. At first I surmised that it was because of the almost total lack of any visible human presence, which is somewhat ironic considering it’s a visual record human population density. The whole city should be (or should at least appear to be, since it in reality is) crawling with people.

But that’s not it. Part of it, no doubt, but not the whole story. Continue reading