Many people think of Hong Kong as being impossibly fast-paced, money-oriented, and concrete-smothered, but for Singapore based photographer Peter Steinhauer, scenes of peacefulness and underlying beauty lay just beneath the urban density. Keen to bring this to light in his upcoming exhibition Hong Kong Surface Unseen, Steinhauer tells Localiiz about his deep connection with the city that for nine years he called home.
I find Hong Kong to be an amazing city because of its diversity. I believe that the biggest misconception about the place from a standpoint of a foreigner is that it is just Central, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and Kowloon and just a concrete, dense, urban place.
However, there is so much more to Hong Kong than this. On Hong Kong island there is nature, running, and hiking trails, beaches and other areas to go for great food. Across the harbour the amount of nature is tremendous. There are townships and areas to see that have a completely different feel than anywhere on Hong Kong island. Then there are all the islands. I think it is this diversity which makes Hong Kong such a draw for people all over the world.
As an artist and photographer, Hong Kong is truly an amazing place to create work. I am also a cyclist and triathlete and the training here is tremendous. Outdoor life is very available virtually everywhere and being originally from the mountains and nature of Colorado in the US, this was such an important thing for me. No city in Asia has all of this, in my opinion.
My method of working is on a project specific basis. I know what I am going out to photograph and what I am looking for. My work is slow and methodical and all set up on tripods. I don’t go around photographing aimlessly on different subject matters and putting projects together after collecting thousands of images. It is conceptual and is developed after visualisation and research. I have far less images of Hong Kong than most people think that a photographer might have.
I don’t try to evoke a specific emotion from viewers of my work. I work as who I am, making work of the visualization on the projects that I am working on. I of course hope people like it but ultimately, I do what I do because it is inside of me and work on what inspires me. I then let others view it and develop their own feelings and opinions about it.
Scratch beneath the surface and see Hong Kong unseen in Peter's exhibition which runs from May 21 to June 27 at Contemporary By Angela Li.
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