- Hardcover: 356 pages
- Publisher: Watermark (January 9, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1873200889
- ISBN-13: 978-1873200889
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.5 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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City Of Darkness: Revisited Hardcover – January 9, 2014
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About the Author
Ian Lambot trained as an architect and worked briefly for the Richard Rogers Partnership before arriving in Hong Kong in 1979, where he lived for the next 18 years. After stints running an architectural model-making studio and working with Foster and Partners - on the early stages of the Hongkong Bank project - he set up Watermark Publications, publishing in the years since numerous books on architecture, engineering and design, including four volumes on the work of Norman Foster and, of course, City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City.He now lives in the UK, where he continues to design and publish books on subjects that interest him. Greg Girard is a Canadian photographer whose work has examined the social and physical transformations in Asia's largest cities for more than three decades. Girard's photographic monographs include Phantom Shanghai (Magenta, Toronto, 2007), with a foreword by novelist William Gibson; Hanoi Calling (Magenta, 2010); and In the Near Distance (Kominek, Berlin, 2010), a book of early photographs made in Asia and North America between 1973 and 1986. His work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Gallery and other public and private collections.
Top customer reviews
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I loved the fact that texts explaining its history, architecture and legacy were mixed between the many interviews with the actual residents. This mixture of pictures and the fact that you weren't sure what story would come up on the next page really intensifies the idea of what this place was, this mess that had a life of its own.
Even by thoroughly reading this book and carefully looking at the images, it seems that we just scraped the surface of what this place really was.
However the book does have some flaws. After such hard work of exploring this maze, the gathering of maps and a deep study of the place, I felt that a map showing where the interview was happening would enhance the feeling of being there. Was this picture in the border of the city? Was this person living in the first floor where no light ever got trough? Was this factory in the center of the block where the temperatures were unbearable in the summer? The authors knew at the time, but they didn't share this with the readers, such an important information and now it's lost, it's really a shame and a missing piece of the puzzle.
Another flaw is that this book should be treated as an international work, not just American, but the authors chose to only use units in the Imperial system, most of the world uses the metric system, it wouldn't be hard to add some parenthesis with the unit in meters. This also goes for the only chapter that uses the metric system, the information should also be in feets to not distinguish from the rest of the book. It really was a shame that I had to stop the reading to do the math to figure out the size of the cubicles that people lived in. And this was an Essential information to understand the conditions that so many hard working and poor people had to withstand in such a place.
Anyway, the book is beautiful, we will never truly understand what it was to have such a densely populated area in this world. The pictures try to capture its essence, but to see, smell and feel the claustrophobia, that would be priceless.
Now if this book was simply a bunch of pictures+annotations of the place, I'd give it maybe 4 stars. But it also has histories, interviews, and even a multipage foldout diagram. So it's everything you'd want in a book about the place, If I have any complaint at all, it's that the font is a little too small. So if you were even contemplating plunking down the cash on this great book: Spend away. You absolutely won't regret it.