PHOTOGRAPHY – 100 Photos of 100 Rooms of 100sq ft 12


Michael Wolf’s classic 2006 series ‘100×100’ documents 100 dwellings measuring approximately 100 square feet in HK’s oldest public housing estate. The project, shot at Shek Kip Mei Estate, is Wolf’s ‘investigation into the use of limited space‘…

See also: Michael Wolf’s most famous series Architecture of Density. Also, Hong Kong Cornerhouses and, his latest, most controversial work, Window Watching….

He used a wide-angle lens and completed the shoot before much of the estate was demolished and redeveloped. Originally built by the British to house large numbers of mainland migrants and relive the city of hillside ghettos, the housing units – little more than small cubicles – were completed in 1953…

New towers were built in 1979 and 1982. There are now 26 blocks and 7,363 units on the site with an authorised capacity of 13,900…

Accompanied by a social worker, the photographer spent 4 days going door-to-door. Some photos show immaculate rooms, others seem to show squalor  Some residents seem to have sparse possessions whilst others are clearly outright hoarders…

Almost all residents agreed to be photographed and each were asked how old they were, how long they had lived there, what they did for a living and whether they enjoyed living in Shek Kip Mei. Many had lived there for over 20 years and most spoke positively about their living quarters….

Whilst 100 square feet may seem like a squeeze, conditions have only worsened for HK’s poor. 100,000 live in cage homes – a grim reality for today’s working class – click here for more recent photos of the city’s sub-divided flats

Block 41 is the only remaining original residential building on the site. It has been preserved as a Mark II building and currently functions as a Youth Hostel…

via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia


  • Kempton Lam

    Beautiful & Lovingly photographed. Thanks for sharing. For some reasons, looking at your photos got me thinking of Yousuf Karsh if he had taken his camera right into these fascinating people’s home.

  • Kempton Lam

    Beautiful & Lovingly photographed. Thanks for sharing. For some reasons, looking at your photos got me thinking of Yousuf Karsh if he had taken his camera right into these fascinating people’s home.
    P.S. I wish I had my video camera tagging along with you as I see 100 fascinating stories waiting to be told, if we care enough to ask.
    P.P.S. Why I don’t look at my own backyard (I’m Calgary, Canada based) for interesting documentary ideas is a worthy of a hard kick in my own butt! 🙂

  • gumiho

    In ’72, a girl I had met needed to take something back to her home, and I tagged along.I couldn’t tell you how we got there, and I had no idea where I was, but that place looked exactly like this (I had to wait down on the street while she went up to do whatever she had to do). A fascinating set of photos, and an interesting video,too.

  • $6608288

    In ’72, a girl I had met needed to take something back to her home, and I tagged along.I couldn’t tell you how we got there, and I had no idea where I was, but that place looked exactly like this (I had to wait down on the street while she went up to do whatever she had to do). A fascinating set of photos, and an interesting video,too.

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  • Clement Tong

    My friend lived in one of those units in the 70s, and I remember my shock when I saw her place and as I pondered how her family of seven could all squeeze in such a tiny place. But I can still remember her smiles in those days, and can definitely see her sharing like one of these people in the video – the living conditions were poor but life was bearable when you had your family, friends and neighbour.

    Mankind really don’t live by bread only.

  • Clement Tong

    My friend lived in one of those units in the 70s, and I remember my shock when I saw her place and as I pondered how her family of seven could all squeeze in such a tiny place. But I can still remember her smiles in those days, and can definitely see her sharing like one of these people in the video – the living conditions were poor but life was bearable when you had your family, friends and neighbour.

    Mankind really don’t live by bread only.

  • Love getting a look at how other people live. Some of those flats have some great stories to tell.

  • Love getting a look at how other people live. Some of those flats have some great stories to tell.

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