Hong Kong Outside is the book that comes with its counter part Hong Kong Inside — the book we reviewed on Friday. Both books are photographic collections made by Michael Wolf and published in a beautiful cassette by Peperoni Books. Hong Kong Outside is about the facade of a city that develops in a incredible pace on a small piece of land.
Wolf’s pictures show a tremendous visual rhythm of concrete and glass. It’s hard to believe that people actually life behind these facades. But in the article of Friday we’ve seen that people in fact do. Wolf explains his fascination while looking out of the window of his apartment in a 22 storeys high skyscraper — a treehut in a forest of high rises: “When it gets dark and the lights go on in the tens of thousands of apartments that surround me, I often sit at my window and look into the rooms of my neighbors, intimate and anonymous at the same time.”
Next to the brilliant pictures the book contains information about Hong Kong’s development scheme and spatial vertical strategy.
“In its quest for striving to become a ‘World City’, Hong Kong, like other major cities in the world, has made strenuous effort in constructing flagship or landmark buildings. Constrained by the limited space, Hong Kong, unlike major metropolis in other countries that could afford to build monumental buildings that could have a horizontal spread, has resorted to a ‘vertical’ strategy by building skyscrapers instead. Among the 100 tallest skyscrapers in the world there are about half that are located in Hong Kong.”