William Furniss is a urbanist and architectural photographer based in Hong Kong. He was born in London in 1970.An early interest in science and design led to an engineering degree at Exeter University in England before beginning his photographic career in 1991. Initially taken with the idea of working as a portrait photographer, Furniss assisted luminaries of the London scene such Patrick Litchfield and Terry O’Neill.
In 1993 Furniss was encouraged by friends already in residence to visit Hong Kong. Deng Xiaoping had reputedly said “To get rich is glorious” and the world’s focus had suddenly swung towards China. Fully intending to continue portrait photography on arriving in Hong Kong, his work took a marked change of direction.
The alien visual landscape of Hong Kong reignited a fascination with documenting the immediate environment; the rural English landscapes of his youth now being replaced by the chaotic cityscapes of Asia. Initial simple and straight forward records on film developed into ever more complicated narratives through multiple exposures and contact sheets.
Furniss’ interest in cities led him to NewYork in 1999 with two years spent there developing his approach which today favours pre- visualisation of the image and camera- only manipulations to create a subjective but recognisable record of our time and a testament to the belief that cities should be vibrant, enjoyable, sustainable, democratic places that enable a positive future for us on this planet.
Numerous exhibitions have been held of Furniss’ work which features in collections in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
“Liquid Metropolis” Hong Kong, July 2002
“Big Bamboo” Hong Kong 2005
“Fire in the Eye of Empedocles” Hong Kong 2010 “Rain” Hong Kong 2013 “Reflection” Hong Kong 2013
“Queens Road West” Hong Kong 2016
“+852, Hong Kong Stories” Hong Kong 2019