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Hong Kong from Below

10/15/14

Hong Kong packs 7.188 million people into 426 square miles of an island of problematic topography. While the global metropolis technically crams fewer people into about the same amount of space as New York City (clocking in at 8.406 million bodies spread over 469 square miles), Hong Kong has some pretty tall mountains to contend with. The result is a city filled with mile-high buildings, clamoring vertically towards the only place that affords much space: up.

That’s the direction Australia-based photographer Peter Stewart often trains his camera when capturing Hong Kong’s legendary architecture. Whereas Michael Wolf pulls away from the facades of these buildings, taking a wide-angle look at the city’s dizzyingly compact surfaces, Stewart takes on an ant’s perspective, where a mess of open windows, jutting architecture, and interior corridors barrel upwards towards a sky that could not feel further away. Some images are so disorienting, you can’t tell if you’re looking up, down, or sideways.

The result is two parts Blade Runner, three parts claustrophobia, and one solid testament to the conditions people will put up with to live in one of the world's most most intensely populated cities.

 

Photos courtesy of Peter Stewart