CITIESFEATURESScapes

A Worm’s-Eye View Of Hong Kong’s Skyscrapers

With seven million people squeezed into just 426 sq/mi, Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated areas. The remarkable city state passed from British rule into Chinese hands in 1997 but remains largely autonomous.

This breathtaking set of pictures captures the skyscrapers Hong Kong from the perspective of the mass of humanity which swarms at their feet.

French graphic artist Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captured the vertigo-inducing vistas on a visit to the city, which he credits with inspiring within him a passion for photography.

‘It’s easy to get a measure of a building from afar, but you can’t really appreciate a towering city structure until you’ve craned your neck up the length of its spine, admiring the way its reflective edges seem to scrape the sky,’ he said.

Stunning: Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captured these vistas of vertical Hong Kong on a visit to the city, which he credits with inspiring within him a passion for photography.

Stunning: Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captured these vistas of vertical Hong Kong on a visit to the city, which he credits with inspiring within him a passion for photography.

Scraping the sky: With a population of seven million squeezed into an area of just 426 square-miles, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Scraping the sky: With a population of seven million squeezed into an area of just 426 square-miles, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Dizzying: The remarkable reflections created by the mirrored glass on this building resemble the artistic optical illusions of the surrealist M.C. Escher.

Dizzying: The remarkable reflections created by the mirrored glass on this building resemble the artistic optical illusions of the surrealist M.C. Escher.

‘Hong Kong is not a 2-D place that follows the flatness of a map but instead a volumetric place, where elevators leading us to restaurants, shops, home or our working place should deserve their own street names,’ he said.

‘Vertical Horizon is a reminder on how we are nothing more than a bee in the big beehive, chipping in our bit into the greater realm of society.’

LEARN MORE  Why Hong Kong Matters

Mr Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French graphic artist with a Masters in multimedia and art from East Paris University. His interest in photography began during his period of working in Los Angeles and Tokyo, and subsequently blossomed into a passion after his arrival in Hong Kong.

He said it’s the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters which are the aspects of Hong Kong that inspire him most.

Vanishing point: Hong Kong's lack of living space and vibrant economy spurred the architectural demand which has helped make it the world's most vertical city.

Vanishing point: Hong Kong’s lack of living space and vibrant economy spurred the architectural demand which has helped make it the world’s most vertical city.

Hive of humanity: Mr Jacquet-Lagrèze says said the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters are the aspects of Hong Kong that inspire him most.

Hive of humanity: Mr Jacquet-Lagrèze says said the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters are the aspects of Hong Kong that inspire him most.

Light at the end of the tunnel: He says he felt the need to create this set of pictures, entitled Vertical Horizon, to share his astonishment about the city's 'race to the sky'.

Light at the end of the tunnel: He says he felt the need to create this set of pictures, entitled Vertical Horizon, to share his astonishment about the city’s ‘race to the sky’.

‘The angles in which I make the shots emphasize the large scale of the structures around us in contrast to our own little being,’ he said. ‘Being conscious of our humble condition, to me, is the first step to move to our full potential and reach for our vertical horizon.

‘The name Vertical Horizon is an obvious reminder of our competitive Hong Kong skyline where each building is trying to be the tallest, the boldest, the most beautiful, the youngest, the oldest or the most famous.’

Looking down: Despite the cramped living conditions and cut-throat economy, Hong Kong ranks highly for its quality of life and on the Human Development Index.

Looking down: Despite the cramped living conditions and cut-throat economy, Hong Kong ranks highly for its quality of life and on the Human Development Index.

Mass of humanity: The city state, which passed from British to Chinese rule in 1997, also has the highest average IQ score out of a survey 81 countries around the world.

Mass of humanity: The city state, which passed from British to Chinese rule in 1997, also has the highest average IQ score out of a survey 81 countries around the world.

 

LEARN MORE  Hong Kong's Mass Protests: An Explainer

This feature originally appeared in Daily Mail.

Previous post

World's Cities Experiencing More Heatwaves

Next post

What Can UK Learn From Auckland On Metro Mayors And City-regions?