The Cocooned High-Rises Of Hong Kong


Cherry Street Cocoon, Hong Kong. Photograph: Peter Steinhauer

A 20+ year collection of photographs documenting Hong Kong’s hauntingly beautiful construction sites encaged (cocooned!) in bamboo scaffolding, draped in brightly hued material.

Since 1993, Peter Steinhauer has documented the many facets of Asian culture, with a keen eye for architecture, urban landscape and man-made structures and environments. On his first visit to Hong Kong in 1994, arriving at the old Kai Tak International Airport, Steinhauer noticed a very large structure encaged in bamboo and swathed in yellow material–standing out beneath a canopy of clouds, glowing against the monochromatic, urban skyline. Hong Kong is the final stronghold of the bamboo scaffolders who once practiced their trade at construction sites throughout Asia.

Reproduced in this collectible book are one hundred remarkable images that reflect Steinhauer’s fascination with these hauntingly beautiful and monumental edifices, their bamboo scaffolding draped in brightly hued swathing. The title Cocoons is a natural choice for this body of work celebrating the giant wrapped, cocoon-like structures, later to be unveiled ceremoniously, revealing for the first time the brand-new façades.

Peter Steinhauer is an award-winning photographer whose work has been published in the monographs, Vietnam: Portraits and Landscapes (2002) and Enduring Spirit of Vietnam (2007; foreword by Michael Kenna), named Best Photography Book of the Year by PDN. Represented by leading international galleries, his work is held in museums and in private, corporate and embassy collections. Born in Boulder, CO, Steinhauer lived in Asia for 20 years. He currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

More: Cocoons by Peter Steinhauer h/t: guardian

Orange Cocoon #2, Hong Kong, 2009

On visiting Hong Kong, Peter Steinhauer was fascinated by the intriguing buildings wrapped in bamboo scaffolding and coloured materials. Buildings would be encased in these “cocoons” for months while construction work was going on, to stop debris from falling on the street below.

Quarry Bay Cocoon, Hong Kong, 2013

Steinhauer says: “A coloured, semi-transparent nylon mesh material of different colours was on buildings being built or under renovation. A solid, dark-green, and opaque material was applied to buildings being demolished.”

Green-Orange Cocoon, Hong Kong, 2013

Four Blue Cocoons, Hong Kong, 2009

White Cocoon and Lights, Hong Kong, 2011

T5-T6 Cocoon, Hong Kong, 2011

Aqua Cocoon Cage #2, Hong Kong, 2012

Cocoon and Cranes, Hong Kong, 2008

Yellow Cocoon #2, Hong Kong, 2011

Green Cocoon Walls, Hong Kong, 2010

Calvin Klein Caged, Hong Kong, 2008

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