Hong Kong - Archtecture without people

Background

The project consists of:

- A polyptych of all 9 project images
- Each of the 9 individual images

I would also like to share some of the thinking behind it, to enable viewers to better understand the intent behind the work.

- The images are arranged in the shape of a skyscraper to best reflect the overriding presence of those buildings on the Hong Kong skyline

- The arrangement reflects the fact that the Chinese read “top to bottom” rather than “left to right”

- There are 9 images but there is no 4th image, or 4th floor in the skyscraper, because the number 4 is homophonous with the Chinese word for “death”. This is why there are no 4th floors in Chinese buildings

- There are 8 floors to the skyscraper and a flag on top of it. There are 8 floors because the number 8 is associated with luck and prosperity in China

Foreground

The images themselves:

0 Hong Kong harbour seafront

Taken at an angle to reflect the lines of the Bank of China Tower and showing the Chinese hibiscus for further context.

1 Langham Place Hotel, Mongkok, Kowloon

Again the angle reflects the lines of the Bank of China Tower and showing the Chinese flag for further context. In the background are the red cabs with white roofs. They are as ubiquitous as the yellow cabs of New York and black cabs of London.

2 Shopping Mall, Mongkok, Kowloon

Shot from high up inside the mall looking out on Mongkok itself.

3 Housing, Kowloon

The image shows housing in Kowloon for the majority of Chinese people. It contrasts with the luxury hotels nearby. The right hand side of the image is square. The centre and left are at an angle. These differences reflect the real contours of the houses straight on.

5 Office, Mongkok, Kowloon

As with the other images this is shot on a level with the tower block itself. This minimises distortion and maximises impact of the architectural details.

6 Bamboo scaffolding, Kowloon

Bamboo is omnipresent in Hong Kong. It represents revitalisation and hope. It is not only the predominant material for scaffolding but also underpins the design of the Bank of China Tower where the sectioned trunk is inspired by the growth patterns of bamboo.

7 Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong Island

The shot is of the mid section of the Tower and displays the predominant diamond shape and the bamboo styling of the building’s facade. The hollowness of the Tower can only be appreciated from the inside.

8 Office, Hong Kong Island

The image shows 1 and 2 Exchange Square and the power and growth of Hong Kong. Such architecture demonstrates the huge development of the Hong Kong Island skyline since the building of the Bank of China Tower in 1990. It has been “outgrown” by a number of its fellow residents which are now the focus of the international business community.

9 Chinese flag with Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong Island

The flag is shot from the ground outside an office on Hong Kong Island. The background adds context as it of a typical, “flat”, hazy, Hong Kong sky. The image shows the growing strength of China as a world power. In particular, the Bank of China and its peers have bought into Western economies, very significantly, in recent years.