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Portrait from Above - Hong Kong's Informal Rooftop Communities
© Stefan Canham

Stefan Canham »

Portrait from Above - Hong Kong's Informal Rooftop Communities

Exhibition: 18 Sep – 16 Oct 2009

Goethe-Gallery . Goethe-Institut Hongkong

2 Harbour Road . Wanchai
Hong Kong



Mon-Fri 10-20:30 . Sat 13-18

You are cordially invited to meet Rufina Wu and Stefan Canham at the exhibition opening at 7:00pm on 18 september 2009 (Fri). Hong Kong seems to be a city that is well-organized and with distinctive architectural styles. However, on the rooftop of its high rise buildings some informal rooftop constructions can be found. - Strange enough to see the contrast of a well organized city-planning topped - in its literal sense - by 'informal rooftop communities', an outbreak of anarchy amidst Hong Kong's order. The two artists, Toronto-based architect Rufina Wu and Hamburg photographer Stefan Canham, put a focus on these buildings. While Stefan Canham documents it by taking photographs, Rufina Wu does a research by using architectural tools: she reconstructs the existing buildings by making supplementary blueprints - in a way it looks as if the supplementary drawings try to bring order into the anarchy … … What we get is an insight into the architecture from the grass root level, citizens who build up their houses according to different purposes and needs, ranging from basic shelters for the disadvantaged to intricate multi-storey constructions equipped with the amenities of modern life. There are three such communities that are under investigation: Sham Shui Po, Tai Kok Tsui and Kwun Tong. This exhibition accompanies a book that is first published in 2009 by Berlin publisher Peperoni Books (Hannes Wanderer). As an exhibition the photographs and blueprints were first show in Kunsthaus Hamburg (26 may - 5 july 2009). Goethe-Institut Hongkong presents these works in collaboration with Lumenvisum. An artist talk and a workshop will be held during the exhibition period. Details to be announced soon. High resolution press photos available upon request.