Michael Wolf’s First UK Solo Exhibition

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CREDIT: Michael Wolf, Courtesy of Flowers, London. Tokyo Compression.

The Flowers Gallery in London is presenting photographer Michael Wolf’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

A contradiction of the modern megalopolis is that its inhabitants are forced into close proximity with others, stacked like sardines in high rise buildings, yet the prevailing condition is one of isolation. Alone together. Author Samuel Selvon in his book The Lonely Londoners of 1956 (about the Windrush Generation, and written in Creolised English) observed that the metropolis ‘divide up in little worlds, and you stay in the world you belong to and you don’t know anything about what happening in the other ones except what you read in the papers’. The closeness yet isolation of city life is the major theme of photographer Michael Wolf’s first solo exhibition in the UK.The exhibition is constructed from three groups of work – Architecture of Density, Tokyo Compression and Transparent City– that tackle ‘the complexity of city life through observations of how vernacular architecture and public space are used’.

Architecture of Density is a study of Hong Kong’s high rise developments. Residential tower blocks are photographed on large format and in extreme detail without the context of sky or ground. The bland, near-identical units look like abstract geometric shapes, but on closer inspection we see clothes lines, bird feeders, mops and air conditioning units – personalities adorning a suffocating architectural framework. The Tokyo Compression series shows commuters squashed on the Tokyo subway. Heads are bowed, bodies unnaturally contorted, and eyes are almost always shut. Transparent City depicts the architecture of domestic and office buildings in Chicago, windows fragmenting lives.

Michael Wolf was born in Germany but now lives and works between Hong Kong and Paris. He won the World Press Photo Award in 2005, and has exhibited his work in numerous museums and galleries. The Flowers exhibition runs from 25th November to 7th January, entry is free.

CREDIT: Michael Wolf, Courtesy of Flowers, London. Architecture of Density.

CREDIT: Michael Wolf, Courtesy of Flowers, London. Architecture of Density.

CREDIT: Michael Wolf, Courtesy of Flowers, London. Tokyo Compression.

CREDIT: Michael Wolf, Courtesy of Flowers, London. Transparent City.

CREDIT: Michael Wolf, Courtesy of Flowers, London. Transparent City.

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