Michael Wolf is a photographer who was born in München, one of Germanys biggest cities. He grew up in the USA and has been working and living in China for several years now.
In 2010 Wolf visited Japan for the making of his project ‘Tokyo Compression’.
|Michael Wolf, 'Tokyo compression; Image #17', 2010|
‘Tokyo Compression’ is a photo series that shows us commuters on their daily travel in the overcrowded subway of Tokyo. People standing in uncomfortable postures with various intriguing expressions on their faces. At first glance it is hard to grasp what is going on.
|Michael Wolf, 'Tokyo compression; Image #9', 2010|
Wolf’s photos have a certain mystique feeling about them. It is not quite clear were the people are. And the photos are sometimes a little blur or even foggy. When starting to realize that the fog you see is created by the condensation of the breath of all the people, Wolf's photos take you even closer to that misty place..
– It must be hot in there – Those people have absolutely no choice but to stand so close together – How will it smell? – Where are they even traveling to?–
|Michael Wolf, 'Tokyo compression; Image #13', 2010|
Together the photos of Michael Wolf make a fascinating documentation of the daily situation of many Tokyo inhabitants. But every single photo is also a portrait, showing us the different ways the persons are coping with this compression.
The photos are very personal as they have been shot as a close-up. But also distant caused by the glass of the subway doors, separating us, allowing us to read their faces and imagine their thoughts.
|Michael Wolf, 'Tokyo compression; Image #33', 2010|
|Michael Wolf, 'Tokyo compression; Image #35', 2010|
Two books have been published this year about the interesting ‘Tokyo compression’ by Michael Wolf. But if you’ve become really curious, why not visit the Tokyo subway yourself…