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Michael Wolf, photographer of mega-cities, dies in Hong Kong

  • BLUE LOTUS GALLERY VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The 2005 famed photograph titled “Architecture of Density’ #39, showing massive housing by award-winning Hong Kong-based photographer Michael Wolf. Hong Kong art gallery director Sarah Greene said that Wolf, known for his work depicting mega-cities, has died Wednesday at his home. She said he was 64. Wolf won first prize in the World Press Photo competition in 2005 and 2010.

  • BLUE LOTUS GALLERY VIA ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Award-winning Hong Kong-based photographer Michael Wolf is photographed in Cheung Chau, Hong Kong in 2016. Hong Kong art gallery director Sarah Greene said that Wolf, known for his work depicting mega-cities, has died Wednesday at his home. She said he was 64. Wolf won first prize in the World Press Photo competition in 2005 and 2010.

HONG KONG >> Michael Wolf, an award-winning photographer known for his work depicting megacities, has died at his home in Hong Kong. He was 64.

Wolf died in his sleep on Wednesday, said Sarah Greene, an art gallery director who worked closely with him. She did not give a cause of death.

Wolf won first prize in the World Press Photo competition twice, for contemporary issues in 2005 and for daily life in 2010. His body of work included Tokyo, Chicago, Paris and Hong Kong, where Wolf moved in 1994.

“His main muse was Hong Kong,” said Greene, the director of Blue Lotus Gallery. “Hong Kong was his favorite city, which kept inspiring him, zooming out on the beehive with his iconic work ‘Architecture of Density’ and zooming into the veins of the city exploring the vernacular beauty of the back alleys.”

Born in Munich, Germany, Wolf was raised in the United States and Canada and returned to Germany to study photography, according to his website. He spent most of his career in Asia.

He started as a photojournalist and was a contract photographer for the German magazine Stern for eight years in Hong Kong. In 2001, he began focusing on his own projects and published several books, including “Architecture of Density” in 2012, which portrays Hong Kong’s dense urban development.

Greene, who helped run his studio and organized some of his exhibitions and book launches from 2013 to 2018, called Wolf “a sensitive observer who perceived the world like no other.”

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