Invasive or Curious? Michael Wolf’s ‘Window Watching
Invasive or harmless curiosity? Mundane or interesting?… Michael Wolf‘s photo series ‘Windo Watching’ contrasts his most famous work, ‘Architecture of Density‘. Instead of showcasing HK’s maddeningly dense and repetitive shoe-box residential buildings, the German photographer closes in on individual domestic scenes in ‘Window Watching’. The series was created using a telephoto zoom lens to capture people unaware through the windows of their homes. The scenes are mundane domestic moments: there’s a man doing a push-up in his studio apartment, a woman talking on the phone on her bed. Most people seem engrossed by television.
The focus of the german photographer Michael Wolf’s work is life in mega cities. many of his projects document the architecture and the vernacular culture of metropolises. wolf grew up in canada, europe and the united states, studying at uc berkeley and at the folkwang school with otto steinert in essen, germany. he moved to hong kong in 1994 where he worked for 8 years as contract photographer for stern magazine. since 2001, wolf has been focusing on his own projects, many of which have been published as books.
This project is at the moment in risk of breaching Hong Kong’s privacy laws. Wolf explained how he is dealing with the potential legal issues of his photography: “If someone writes me an email and is unhappy about a photo of him or herself on my website, I ask my webmaster to take it down. Regarding this series, I have not received any complaints for whatever reason what so ever’
People in the photographs “theoretically… can go to court and seek damages for breach of privacy, but an average person may not have the money to commence legal proceedings.”