Beautiful video project brings to life the abstract patterns in Hong Kong’s dense concrete jungle

By Jack Williams


This beautiful video project brings to life the dense beauty of Hong Kong’s concrete jungle – making its buildings look like abstract works of art.

The images and footage Toby Harriman were able to capture for his project, ‘The Block Tower’, would look at home in a modern art gallery, ranging from close-ups of beehive-like yellow towers to rainbow-coloured buildings side by side.

With an estimated 6,300 people per square kilometre, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

More than seven million people live on 427 square miles of land, while around 29 per cent of Hong Kong’s population lives in public rental housing estates.

PIC BY TOBY HARRIMAN / CATERS

 Toby, 28, who is based in San Francisco, California, shot the project and such housing over four days in October 2018, only recently releasing the final works to the public.

Toby said: “My goal through the video was to start off showing and narrowing in of the beautiful abstract patterns and colors some of them have.

PIC BY TOBY HARRIMAN / CATERS

“We mainly shot around sunset so we could get a nice warm sunset color versus harsh lighting during the day – although we did get some of that as well.

“Then, as the film goes on, I wanted to pull back showing the vast scale, density and the areas these towers are built in.”

The project, Toby said, was inspired by past images of the city’s density – however, he wanted to provide an aerial perspective.

Having grown up around nature in a mountain town in Colorado, the videographer later fell in love with cities and their makeups – an interest that also formed the backbone of this project.

As well as his aerial footage, images taken were named the likes of “Sherbert Density,” “Patterned Living,” and “Little Boxes” – a take on their concrete subject matters.

PIC BY TOBY HARRIMAN / CATERS

Toby added: “Going to Hong Kong – that is a whole different world.

“Everything is taller, denser and it felt like everyone lived in these types of housing projects.

“Being an artistic type, its hard to not look at a city like this and just be an awe.

“When I am out creating, that is when I am happiest, so I don’t really care what many people say.

“As much as I want everyone to like what I do, I understand I can’t please everyone.

“Overall, though, the response has been pretty great.”