At first glance these images look like some kind of collection of crazy screen savers. It takes a few seconds to ‘see’ what you are actually looking at, and it’s this quality that makes the photographs of Michael Wolf so compelling.
The aptly named series Architecture of Density gives the viewer a jaw-dropping dose of reality in terms of what human growth and population looks like in some parts of our world. Photographed in Hong Kong, this depiction of apartment block housing gives me a stifling feeling of claustrophobia. Adversely, there is a stark beauty to these images. Some of the colour palettes are strangely quite soothing to the eye, especially the pastel and grey combinations. The way that Wolf has taken these shots from a straight angle (like he is looking out of an apartment window himself) lends a two-dimensional quality to these works, flattening them out so that they’re quite surreal….Thiebaud’s warped street scenes spring to mind for some reason.
Michael Wolf is German born but lives in Hong Kong, he plays the role of voyeur well. It’s worth checking out his other series based in Hong Kong here, I particularly like the 100 x100 works. Wolf has exhibited internationally and published no less than 13 books documenting his reflections on ‘the vernacular culture of metropolises.’