The Seedy and the Debased

The week I moved to Hong Kong, I went to the Peak. It’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re a first-time visitor or recent arrival to the city: take the tram, bus or (if you’re a little more savvy) minibus up to the cluster of shopping malls that has risen from what was once […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Seedy and the Debased , , , ,

The Last Days of 5 Pointz

Even if you don’t follow street art or hip hop, you might have heard the news: 5 Pointz is dead. Technically, the old warehouse in Long Island City is still standing — though it is slated for redevelopment — but its essence as an art space was stripped away in the early hours of November […]

The Road to Shangri-La

Pilgrims en route to Lhasa It takes a lot of work to capture a good photo. Last month, Michael Yamashita was sitting in a Hong Kong bookstore, clicking through slides of pictures from his new book, Shangri-La: Along the Tea Road to Lhasa, a five-year project that documents the incomparable beauty and changing face of […]

Visualizing Globalization 2.0

Top: Istanbul airlifted to the beaches of Rio de Janeiro; Bottom: São Paulo set in Cappadocia Imagine this: you’re walking down a side street in Midtown Manhattan and turn onto Fifth Avenue, facing uptown. But there, instead of the void of sky that usually greets the vista north toward Central Park, a massive mountain blocks […]

Europe Through the Eyes of Others

Roma Barcelona Madrid

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Ghosts of Occupied Amsterdam

Amsterdam civilians were machine-gunned by soon-to-be-retreating German soldiers when they formed a large crowd to await the city’s liberation in 1945. Here the dead and injured haunt modern Dam Square. Amsterdam’s Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse lives history. The company for which she works as a historical consultant, Historisch Adviesbureau 30-45, specializes in digging up archival material […]

How a Roast Duck Sees Chinatown

Melbourne’s Chinatown as shot with a camera made from a duck Earlier this week, I paid a visit to Martin Cheung‘s studio in the Cattle Depot Artists’ Village in To Kwa Wan. I was there to speak to him about his work with pinhole photography, a medium that uses crude, handmade cameras to record images […]

Time Travel With Nick DeWolf

Penn Station, New York, 1958 Three years ago, people were still complaining that photo-sharing websites like Flickr were home mostly to “thousands of pieces of shit” — few good photos, endless amounts of clichéd snapshots that nobody really wants to see. Since then, of course, Flickr has proven its worth by attracting plenty of good, […]

Gentrification: Y2K to Today

2000 2009 Change is a constant in most cities, and it’s no surprise that a decade can yield dramatic alterations to a specific street or even storefront. Take this slice of San Francisco’s Mission Street, photographed by Eric Fischer, creator of the locals v. tourists photography maps, which he captured in 2000 and again just […]

Posted in: Heritage and Preservation, History, Society and Culture, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Gentrification: Y2K to Today , , , , ,

Locals vs. Tourists

Montreal We’ve always known there is a gulf between the city as experienced by tourists and the city lived in by locals. Now we have a fun visual representation of that divide. Using various types of data from Flickr, one user of the photo-sharing website, Eric Fisher, has created maps that indicate the spots photographed […]

Going, Going, Gone?

Hong Kong isn’t a very graceful city, but that’s the word I would use to describe its corner buildings, which meet a junction with smooth lines and subtle verve. Buildings with rounded corners are friendly and sensitive to their surroundings, like a courteous houseguest, and they bring to mind the beautiful corner buildings that define […]

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Going, Going, Gone? , , ,

The Artist’s Subject Goes Wandering

We’re in an age when every other person is a wannabe Walker Evans, and every single object and person in the city is a potential subject for self-reflective urban photography. (You know, the kind you sometimes see here.) Washington, DC artist Alexa Meade takes that situation to its logical extreme by turning her photo subjects […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Public Space, United States by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on The Artist’s Subject Goes Wandering , , , ,

Public Sex and Peeping Toms

Kohei Yoshiyuki was walking through a Tokyo park one night in the early 1970s when he noticed people having sex in the bushes. Then he noticed people spying on the people having sex. That must have been when he decided to get his camera. Using infrared film and flash, Yoshiyuki followed and surreptitiously photographed the […]

Empty L.A.

Photo by Matthew Logue The density of urban slums once drove city planners and social workers mad — and, in some cases, still does today. But perhaps because of the vicious crime that followed mass abandonment of cities like Detroit, or the specter, for the first time, of an entire city’s virtual erasure in the […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Books, United States by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on Empty L.A. , , ,