Thursday, February 4, 2010

Photographers to know / Link 17 : Michael Wolf

© Michael Wolf / The Transparant City, 2008.

In a diverse array of photographic projects Michael Wolf explores the complex cultural identities of China and Hong Kong, where he has lived since 1995. Wolf delves into subjects such as the formal and improvisational aesthetics of Hong Kong's architectural forms, the often-overlooked human presence at the heart of international industry, and the idiosyncratic ways city-dwellers shape their surroundings in an "organic metropolis." Throughout these interrelated series Wolf draws into question notions of public and private space, anonymity and individuality, history and modern development. Attuned to the cultural and economic undercurrents of his adopted home, Wolf remains humanely attentive to the personal details as well. Kenneth Baker, critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, has written of the "formal intelligence and acuity of observation" evident in Wolf's photographs, and while Wolf is meticulously and consistently observant, his photographs reflect a manner of working that is intuitive and fluid: from series to series Wolf assumes a range of viewpoints, intimate in some cases and removed in others, and alternates between approaches that are rigorously formal and playfully lyrical.

Michael Wolf was born in Munich (1954), Germany. He grew up in the USA and studied at UC Berkley and at the University of Essen in Germany. He has been living and working as a photographer and author in China for ten years.

© Michael Wolf / Tokyo Subway Dream, 2009.