Hong Kong is a favorite of many photographers for its multi-faceted character as a city, especially when it comes to its culture and architecture. Just one of the countless photographic odes to the city is the cleverly-titled Residensity, a most recent work by Paris-based Thibaud Poirier that shows just how populous Hong Kong is.
This new series is the latest body of work to mirror Poirier’s fascination with architecture and urban environments. Previously, we’ve seen him showcase the stunning details of timeless libraries with snaps guaranteed to make bibliophiles and lovers of beautiful interiors salivate. Residensity is likewise built on his careful attention to detail, but on a much grander scale. Here, he particularly takes us to some of the best known symbols of Hong Kong’s urban identity, filled with dizzying shapes and hypnotic patterns.
Through this series, Poirier also explains how he sees Hong Kong as “a shrine to the wonders of modern architecture and city life.” He adds:
“The massive sky scrapers stretch upwards, dwarfing those on street level. In many ways, Hong Kong is the emblematic urban city — the street food, the multiculturalism, the meeting of many extremes. Yet it’s the sheer density that truly sets it apart, that affords anyone in its premises a feeling of anonymity yet familiarity as we walk its sidewalks or ascend in its elevators.”
“Hong Kong was built as an urban utopia, with the promise of a better life. Despite thousands of years of evolution in small villages and communities, it aimed to transform human nature with architecture — floating stories into the clouds, stacked on top of one another rather than gathered around a watering hole or town square. Yet it remains daunting to the outside eye.”
This density, he has found, makes the city “at once comfortable and daunting,” yet also offers familiarity to those who observe these stacked communities from afar.
Residensity shows us a face of Hong Kong that every photographer seeks to capture, whether as a study in color and urban geometry or a snapshot of the concrete jungles that makes it such a vibrant and captivating metropolis.