Feb 12 2015

Christian ├ůslund: “Honkey Kong”

by Billy Kung

In 2013, Christian Åslund, the Stockholm-based photographer, made his second trip to Hong Kong, this time, with a little more on his mind. Inspired by Hong Kong’s dense urban landscape, Åslund came with plans to execute a new photographic series, “Honkey Kong” (2013), as part of an advertising campaign, which uses the city’s streets as background to images resembling those seen in platform video games.

Åslund scouted numerous locations that could provide him with the accurate perspective—many of the streets had to be of proper width to achieve the effect he desired. Taken from dizzying heights on roofs of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers, Åslund was armed with a long tele-photo lens and had radio contact with his subjects on ground level. He sought a flat perspective, giving the illusion of the depicted figure below as a video game avatar who is navigating through Hong Kong’s streets, similar to the side-scrolling, two-dimensional video games of the 1980s. Instilled with playfulness and a sense of adventure, the series provides a fresh look at an urban surrounding we have become too familiar with.

Åslund is currently a freelance photographer who has experience working with newspapers, magazines and various nonprofits. His work covers social and environmental issues as diverse as the Fukushima nuclear disaster to orangutan conservancy in Borneo.

From the series “Honkey Kong” (2013). Courtesy the artist.
From the series “Honkey Kong” (2013). Courtesy the artist.

Billy Kung is photo editor at ArtAsiaPacific.