CONTEMPORARY BY ANGELA LI is proud to present the new works of photographer Peter Steinhauer in his solo exhibition “Metamorphosis - New Cocoon works by Peter Steinhauer”.
Since 1993, Peter has been documenting the many facets of Asian culture. His Cocoon series is somewhat an artistic departure from his previous works as this project is predominately photographed and printed in colour.
Upon Peter’s first visit to Hong Kong in January of 1994, he arrived at the old Kai Tak International Airport, on exiting via taxi he noticed a very large structure that was surrounded in yellow material on the bottom half and the top half was encapsulated in bamboo. He was amazed by the monumental size of this structure and not surprisingly made easy comparisons to the environmental Bulgarian artist Christo and his wife Jean Claude and wondered if perhaps they were exhibiting in Hong Kong and wrapping a building. He saw many more on the way to Hong Kong Island and then quickly realised that this was a form of renovation on old and new buildings. These large wrapped buildings were particularly striking with the backdrop of the dense urban confides of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
Herein began Peter’s fascination with these multicoloured structures, standing out like giant wrapped packages in the midst of the neutral, almost monochromatic surroundings skyline. The scale and size of them was something that struck him the most and with their cranes and flood lights mixed in with the ambient city lights, they eerily took on a sci-fi look and feel to them. This is when he started to first make images of the structures as he was travelling with his trusty companion, a large format 4x5 camera using sheet film.
Peter focuses on the graphic nature of the structure, as well as the “Cocoon” in its environmental surroundings of the distinct Hong Kong urban space. The name Cocoons for this series of works, felt a natural choice as these frameworks transform from an old and sometimes dilapidated building, wrapped in coloured material only to be unveiled like a Cocoon, to ceremoniously reveal a brand new building.