We've been following the career of street photographer Michael Kistler since he arrived in Hong Kong in August last year. Mostly we check out his latest photos on his Instagram account and are blown away by his perspective on our jewel of a city, especially in the rain. We asked Kistler to tell us a bit about his work ahead of his next Hong Kong exhibit, Colour in. Fusion, a collection of photographs exploring the role and shape of colour on the urban landscape.
It is always difficult for me to describe my work or process. I tend to shoot very freely and respond to the dynamic qualities of the urban settings where I'm working. Very rarely do I go out with the notion that I want to create a certain type of image. The beauty of street photography is that the moments are spontaneous and short-lived. That aspect is both challenging and engaging for me.
Prominent themes that recur in my street photography include the ideas of presence and absence; identity and anonymity. When I consider the urban landscape, I tend to see the role of humans as supporting actors or role players, existing in almost an abstract or surreal sort of way. People give shape and context to the larger environment around them without dominating the storyline with their presence.
In essence, the urban framework remains largely unchanged while the human element comes and goes. Of particular interest to me are the sometimes overlooked urban ephemera, as well as how people's movement and motion connect with buildings, lines and geometry. My images often highlight unconventional perspectives and unique moments where people collide, merge, and ultimately co-exist in various forms with the urban landscape. I really like the idea of looking at an ordinary and sometimes mundane scene and finding a way to represent it in a way that is both challenging and aesthetically pleasing, if sometimes abstract to the viewer.
I shot the collection of images making up Colour in. Fusion
in three different Asian cities--Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong--but I make no attempt to highlight the respective locations; I instead prefer to provide a quiet commentary on the shared urban qualities that make their individual identities inconsequential.
Colour in. Fusion
Urban Inspired Photography by Michael Kistler
May 15-17 at Little Square in Sheung Wan
Opening party May 15 (6:30-9:30pm) hosted by Dugie Cameron
May 16 (12-7pm) and May 17 (12-4pm)
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