Following the success of Hong Kong Corner Houses, German photographer Michael Wolf continues his collaboration with Hong Kong University Press to produce Small God, Big City. Wolf again uses his creative eye to draw attention to overlooked objects in the visually rich urban environment of Hong Kong. This time the object is the Earth God shrine, found commonly by the doorways of shops and homes throughout Hong Kong. Through his visually stimulating and thought-provoking photographs, Wolf challenges our sensitivity to seemingly familiar everyday things. An interpretative text for the photographs is authored by two familiar names: Lee Ho Yin and Lynne DiStefano, who are well-known academics and practitioners of heritage conservation in Hong Kong. The text is a highly readable curatorial essay that leads readers to a better understanding of the topic and the meaning behind Wolf 's photographs of Earth God shrines in urban Hong Kong. The topic of this book is timely, given the vulnerability of traditional beliefs and practices in an increasingly urbanized Hong Kong. It is hoped that Small God, Big City will provoke deeper thoughts on who we are and what we believe in this modern world.
Michael Wolf was born in 1954 in Munich, Germany. He grew up in the United States, Europe, and Canada and studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Folkwang School in Essen, Germany. In 1995, he moved to Hong Kong, where he studied Chinese cultural identity and complex urban architectural structure. He has published seven photobooks on Asia, including Sitting in China, Chinese Propaganda Posters, Hong Kong Front Door Back Door, Hong Kong Inside Outside, Tokyo Compression, and Hong Kong Corner Houses.