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Michael Wolf: Informal Solutions – a city made by people

A homemade seating area, plants where they don’t belong and random coat hangers in the street. In Hong Kong, Michael Wolf (1954) found these ‘informal solutions’. In Breda, his photos and videos are next to the items he collected on the streets.

12 October 2016
Text: Guido van Eijck


Michael Wolf is one of the great image-defining photographers of today. He has made famous photography series on megacities Hong Kong and Paris. He has also won two World Press Photo-prizes for his pictures of Chinese factories and crowded Japanese subways.

In his hometown Hong Kong, Wolf has been registering the ‘informal solutions’ that people use to claim their own spot in the city: a mini-break in a random place, a self-made seating corner on the street or in a café. ‘Think of it as an encyclopaedia of improvisations in back alleys,’ says Wolf.

Next to photos and short videos, Wolf shows the items he found in Hong Kong’s alleyways. When he encountered a special, self-made chair for example, he would ask the owner if it was for sale. In the Museum of the Image (MOTI), you will see which items Wolf brought with him to Breda. Part of his photos can be seen in large format in the outdoor exhibition Chassé XXL.

Michael Wolf is not the only reason to visit MOTI. Here you’ll also find the exhibition Free State MOTI. BredaPhoto and MOTI invited the promising young Dutch artists Jaap Scheeren and Coralie Vogelaar to build their own free state.

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