Contemporary by Angela Li is pleased to present photographer Peter Steinhauer’s solo exhibition “Cocoons”, to coincide with the worldwide launch of his new book, published by powerHouse Books. “Cocoons”, the multi-award winning series by Peter Steinhauer, documents the cityscape made up of the use of traditional technique of bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong.
Upon Steinhauer’s first arrival in Hong Kong in the late 1990s, he was captivated by the sight of bamboo-caged buildings wrapped in fabric. He immediately thought these buildings were well-known environmental installation artist duo Christo and Jeanne Claude’s work of art. When Steinhauer later learnt it was a unique construction method of wrapping buildings in colourful mesh materials to prevent debris from falling onto the streets during renovation, he began his fascination with documenting Hong Kong cityscape from an unusual perspective.
The series name “Cocoons” refers to the metamorphosis stage of the buildings, from caterpillar to butterfly, from architectural site to a brand-new building. For more than 9 years, Peter called Hong Kong home, he did not only focus on capturing the graphic nature of the intensely hued monolithic structures, he also captured time and place effortlessly. In his carefully framed photographs, the artist recorded the transformation of this restless city for over a decade as you see glimpses of the distinctive environmental surroundings of Hong Kong urban space.
Reproduced in the collectible book “Cocoons” are 100 remarkable images that reflect Steinhauer's fascination with these hauntingly beautiful and monumental edifices, their bamboo scaffolding draped in brightly hued mesh material.
Peter Steinhauer (b. 1966, USA) focuses on architecture within urban landscape, natural landscape, Asian faces and man-made structure. Steinhauer lived and worked in Asia for 20 years and is currently based in San Francisco, USA.
Peter Steinhauer is the recipient of numerous international photography awards, including a finalist for the 2014 and 2017 Lucie Awards, Ford Foundation grant for his multiyear work in Vietnam, Black and White Spider Award for Architecture, IPA and PX3 Paris awards, among others. His works have been included in Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA, Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong Kong and other public and private collections.