These photographs by Michael Wolf are so haunting, don’t you think? If you suffer from claustrophobia these might even be hard to fathom.

Born in Munich, Germany, Michael Wolf has lived in Hong Kong for the past twenty years and has devoted much of his work to studying intense population saturation in some of the world’s largest cities. This series, “Tokyo Compression”, provides a visceral glimpse into the density of Tokyo’s underground network.





109The condensation on the windows conjures up obvious images of breath and humidity, but also of steam, sweat and even tears. It’s as disturbing as it is melancholic.

Wolf has dozens of series relating to life in Hong Kong, Asia and other overpopulated metropolises. His series ” Architecture of Density” is similarly fascinating and will leave you with a sense of wonder as to how it all got built. I’ve never appreciated living in a semi-pastoral country as much as I do when I look through those images.

You can find out more about the photographer here, as well as peruse his other collections and books.

(all images via Michael Wolf Photography)


2 thoughts on “Compression

  1. Ok, so #77 in the “compression” series is my favorite, not hard to guess why. I checked out the Architecture of Destiny series as well, and I have to say WOW, just wow. I know this is going to sound superior of me, but I thank God that I was born in Kansas in the good ol’ USA. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in that kind of population density, just no way I could handle it.

    • ha! yes, I can understand why. Seems like a natural reaction to someone taking your picture while your covered in 100 people’s breath. Yikes. I agree, it’s hard to imagine living in a metropolis like that and I don’t think I would do so well either. When would you ever find silence? Or alone time?

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