Blind walls and night trees - My favourite things
Gallery FIFTY ONE
Opening reception: Friday, Dec. 4th 2014 from 6 – 9 pm
Gallery FIFTY ONE is honored to present Michael Wolf’s third solo exhibition at the gallery with works from his most recent series “Paris Rooftops”, “Paris Tree Shadows”, “Hong Kong Flora” and “My Favourite Things”.
Having lived and worked in Hong Kong for over 15 years, Wolf has developed a unique body of work exploring the character of this city both through its imposing architecture and the vernacular manifestations of life along its dense warren of alleyways. With “My Favourite Things” and “Hong Kong Flora”, Wolf unveils the beauty in the vernacular as life springs up through the cracks of this dense urban environment. With these two series Wolf shows how man has reclaimed the public space in a city starved of private space through a series of tiny interventions which transform the urban landscape.
Michael Wolf’s photography is that of an outsider. Born in Germany, raised in the United States and Canada, returning to Germany to study photography before spending the vast majority of his career in Asia, his unusual background has allowed him to make the ‘other’ his home. Wolf began his career as a photojournalist, spending over a decade working in Asia for the German magazine Stern. His willingness to explore different visual approaches, even abandoning the camera altogether to work with emerging image technology such as Google Street View, shows his ability to constantly renew and enrich his visual language.
From the architecture of Hong Kong’s tower blocks to the relentless compression of the Tokyo subway, from issues of privacy and voyeurism in the urban environment to the phenomenon of mass production within the increasingly globalized world of modern art, each of his series reveals a new facet of life in the city, assembling a complex, nuanced view that raises as many questions as it provides answers.
Although he is constantly exploring new subjects and visual approaches, Michael Wolf’s central theme has always remained the same, from his first series in a German mining village to his most recent work in Asia … people, and the reality of their lives in our ever-changing cities.
Michael Wolf won first prize in the World Press Photo competition in 2005 and 2010, and received an honourable mention in 2011. In 2010 and 2016 he was nominated for the Prix Pictet photography award.
Born in Munich, Germany in 1954
Died in Hong Kong in 2019