Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French photographer who captures the dizzying heights and uncommon densities of Hong Kong. Inspired by "the geometry of the urban environment and the vivid lives it shelters," Jacquet-Lagrèze has not only captured the verticality of Hong Kong's built environment, but also compiled a new book, Vertical Horizon, "a photographic journey between the buildings of a relentlessly growing city." See more of Jacquet-Lagrèze's images, and read an excerpt from Vertical Horizon, after the break. From Vertical Horizon. Text by Holly Chan & Christopher Dewolf. The Vertical City If music is the space between notes and the city is the space between buildings, Hong Kong is the space between peaks and valleys – a settlement whose built environment mimics the precipitous topography on which it sits. Whether in a street market or in a country park, skies in Hong Kong are never vast. Nor is the ground reliably present, sloping this way and that, flat only in those areas where it has been artificially reclaimed from the sea. The result is a city that can never be experienced the way Beaudelaire experienced Paris; walking the streets of Hong Kong is not enough to understand it. This is a vertical metropolis that is lived on multiple planes and in multiple dimensions; there is always something lurking overhead, up a hill, around the corner and down an escalator. The reasons for this might seem evident enough: big city, small space – density is inevitable. But Hong Kong’s particular brand of verticality can in many ways be attributed to a series of historical accidents.
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