Michael Wolf – Informal Arrangements, Flowers, 82 Kingsland Road London E2, until 9th January 2016
Wolf arrived in Hong Kong in 1994 and has always been fascinated by the hyper density of the architecture and indeed many of you may know his large-scale photographs from previous exhibitions.
In this show he reveals, alongside the endless building facades, the more intimate world of Hong Kong’s back alleys. Here you find a different world – to some a passageway through from the street, to others a quiet place but also storage areas where residents can safely leave mops, rubber gloves, even pieces of ribbon and string stored to be used another day.
He also has amassed from Hong Kong and mainland China a collection of broken chairs which had been made useful in the alleys though repairs with fabric and string. He calls them ‘Bastard Chairs’ and they eloquently add their presence to this colourful celebration of life.
The artist sums it up saying: “Hong Kong’s back alleys are often unnoticed against their more glamorous counterparts of dazzling architecture. However, they present an authentic slice of Hong Kong’s grass roots culture. In my opinion they should be nominated as a heritage site.”
I rather think that is a valid point.
In January 2016 the book Informal Solutions – Observations in Hong Kong Back Alleys by Michael Wolf, with a text by Marc Feustel, will be published by WE publishers, Hong Kong.