Friday, 26 October 2018

Michael Wolf | Portraits Of Cantonese Opera Stars

Photo © Michael Wolf | All Rights Reserved
Continuing my obsession with Chinese Opera, and showcasing photographers who have superlative work involving this ancient art, I am delighted to feature the work of Michael Wolf titled Portraits of Cantonese Opera Stars.

In this creative approach, Michael Wolf photographed locally celebrated opera performers by having them pose in front of Hong Kong buildings in their costumes, and adopting poses used during their performances. The old Hong Kong neighborhoods and its crowded streets added interesting -almost incongruous- backdrops to the portraits.

Photo © Michael Wolf | All Rights Reserved
A few years ago, some of these portraits were also installed (see top photo) in the grounds of the West Kowloon Bamboo Cinema; a temporary project designed to provide spectators with performances at nominal prices. Cantonese opera performed in the setting of a bamboo cinema is a traditional art form combining music, martial arts, drama and architecture.

Michael Wolf is a German photographer based in Hong Kong. His main work's focus is life in mega cities, and documents architecture and the culture of metropolises.  He worked for 8 years as contract photographer for Stern magazine, but since 2001, he has concentrated on his own projects; many of which have been published as books.

His work was exhibited in numerous locations, including the Venice Bienniale for architecture, Aperture gallery in New York,  Hong Kong Shenzhen Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and others.

He won first prize in the World Press Photo award competition on two occasions (2005 & 2010) and honorable mention (2011). He was also shortlisted for the Prix Pictet photography prize. He has published more than 13 photo books.