Lost in almost every 21st century photograph of Hong Kong is the importance of water. Although the modern city rises up and away from the sea, the city's history and culture will always be immersed in the ocean. Photographer Andreas Müller-Pohle, having finished his Danube River Project in his native Germany, came to Hong Kong and decided to look at the city from an original (and originary) perspective.

The result is Hong Kong Waters. Müller-Pohle photographs the city from its harbor, from its reefs, from under its bridges, from its lake and its rivers. The results are both simple and thought-provoking. The photographs not only evoke Hong Kong's history specifically, but a whole host of global questions: our treatment of the world's oceans, the prospect of rising sea levels, the future of our cities. 

And yet, the most haunting images are not topical or political, they are contemplative. They split the frame in two, showing the brightness and hyper-reality of the surface world against the silence and peace of submersion. In a city (and world) defined by commerce, speed, and technology, these immersive photos feel especially valuable. A wonderful book, strongly recommended.

—Alexander Strecker

 

Hong Kong Waters (English and Chinese Edition)
by Andreas Müller-Pohle
Publisher: Kehrer Verlag
Hardcover: 96 pages