Many photographers have captured the vertical jungle that is Hong Kong from various perspectives ranging from dizzying heights to hypnotic images of endless windows and balconies. One lens man however has taken quite the opposite approach with these sky topping structures. French photographer and graphic artist Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze‘s photo series takes the contrary approach but comes up with the same queasy visual effect. The Frenchman snaps photos of these mammoth buildings from a point of view where you are most intimidated by their height; from the ground. The result is a 160-page hardcover book with the title, Vertical Horizon.
The effect is just as vertigo-inducing as being on top of one of these structures. Romain Jacquet-Lagreze is first and foremost, a graphic artist. He attended the East Paris University where he earned a Masters degree in Multimedia and Art. The keen interest in Photography came later as he began working in Los Angeles and Tokyo. It was not until his arrival in Hong Kong in 2009 that his love affair with the camera fully blossomed.
With more than seven million residents packed full in a limited area of 1,104 square kilometers, Hong Kong’s limited space forces it to grow upwards. It has been developing vertically for decades and currently exceeds the number of skyscrapers (taller than 100m) of NYC, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dubai. There is an estimated 6,480 people that inhabit each square kilometer in Hong Kong. One third of the world’s tallest residential buildings can be found in Hong Kong. It also has the most number of residents living above the 14th floor, as the lower storeys are usually reserved for commercial purposes. Indeed, Hong Kong is definitely an acrophobic’s worst nightmare.
Vertical Horizon explores Hong Kong in this unique way, showing the elegant architecture of this Asian metropolis. Jacquet-Lagrèze refers to it as a “a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city.” It is also an architectural master class in the economics of space management, merging function and aesthetics skillfully.
“Vertical Horizon is a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city. It is a deep immersion into the city’s thick atmospheres and a visual record of its wildly diverse built environment. This book is like a contemplative dive into the raw nature of Hong Kong and an expression of its vertical elan.”