Alexander Haslam

 

Originally from London, Alexander has been living and working in Hong Kong since 2008.  Formally trained as a lawyer, Alexander creates his photographic art in real-time on the streets of Hong Kong and through his global travel. Drawing inspiration from Hong Kong, Alexander’s work is a combination of photojournalism, urban landscapes and industrial imagery.

Alexander’s editorial photography is primarily driven by images that support or contradict the underlying narrative of his work. When shooting on the streets, Alexander chooses to photograph his subjects up close with only a 24mm prime lens and on occasion a flash. Alexander captures the emotions and movements of his subjects, as though a snapshot, through this fleeting connection into their lives.

“Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It also has one of the widest wealth gaps of any country in the developed world. The combination of urban density and extremes of wealth and poverty; with a population living parallel and yet inexorable lives, to me, provides the backdrop for a fascinating photographic narrative. The innumerable stories that can be told of the people of Hong Kong, as extremes of poverty rub shoulders with extremes of wealth, are both uplifting and depressing in equal measure. Ever constant, ever changing, Hong Kong’s stories from its streets can be told and re-told over generations without ever being boring. This is the most intense, creative and inspiring city I have ever lived in and I feel very lucky to call it home.”

The strong single aspects of an image are what drive Alexander’s urban landscapes and industrial images: be it light or the symmetry of industrial construction. Alexander looks toward these two elements to lead the eye into and through the image, emphasizing the contrasting nature between the light or geometric pattern and the subject of the image itself.

“I am very interested in the historical aspects of trade and its impact on urban development and design. To my mind, the development of global trade is the single largest driving force behind the development of a city. In a city’s buildings, statutes and other forms of urban rationalisations, we are constantly reminded of the fact that it is trade that has given life to the cities we live in today. I am drawn to buildings that have been either directly or indirectly inspired by the Bauhaus school art. Buildings with clean, bold lines and radically simplified forms that marry the uniformity and functionality of mass-production with the individual artistic spirit.”

Shooting digitally, Alexander keeps his post-processing to a minimum. He deploys only the techniques that are available for film processing; preferring instead to let the people, the light or the uniform simplicity speak. The results are strong lucid images revealing a narrative of the urban landscape be it the people or the design that define the cities we inhabit today. 

© 2015 VAN RENSBURG GALLERIES

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