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home / Photography / Photographers' Collections I / Stefan Irvine & Jörg Dietrich

Stefan Irvine & Jörg Dietrich

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Ki Lung Street (2014)

Stefan Irvine & Jörg Dietrich

Limited edition of 50
Archival Pigment Print
55" x 19.25"
Ki Lung Street (基隆街) runs through historic Sham Shui Po, a district situated in the northern Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong (香港). The nine-storey block featured in this panorama was built in 1963, and is a prime example of a post-war "tong lau ( 唐樓)" or "shophouse", a type of tenement architecture previously used throughout Southern China for mixed residential and commercial purposes. This block also features the much-loved curved corners at either end, an architectural feature that is increasingly rare in today's modern buildings. Given the high rate of urban decay in the area, Sham Shui Po is a major target for urban renewal projects and such traditional tong lau are rapidly being replaced by new high rises.
Ki Lung Street - more colloquially known as “Button Street” - is one of the go-to streets in Hong Kong for purchasing wholesale fabrics, fasteners, sequins, feathers, buttons, and other garment accessories. The popup market stalls in this panorama are mainly dealing in ready-to-wear apparel; the wholesale fabric merchants are to be found along many of the neighbouring streets in Sham Shui Po and Cheung Sha Wan.
Another notable feature of this panorama is the use of 100% natural bamboo scaffolding for construction, a traditional practice which is still used widely throughout Hong Kong today - 5 million bamboo rods are imported into the city every year.
Stefan Irvine

Born in London in 1976, Stefan Irvine has been based in Hong Kong since 2002. With a background in photojournalism and commercial photography, the last few years have seen Irvine focus on fine art photography projects. His photographs have been exhibited in New York, London and Hong Kong, as well as appearing in publications including The New York Times, National Geographic, and The Wall Street Journal. He is the winner of the Independent on Sunday/Oxfam Photojournalist Award and his documentary work in Hong Kong was short-listed for the Sunday Times Ian Parry Award and The Observer/Hodge Awards.


For his latest series, Stefan Irvine has collaborated with post-production expert Jörg Dietrich to create images which celebrate Hong Kong’s rich architectural heritage. Irvine meticulously researches and plans these linear panoramas making repeated trips back to the same location. He carefully shoots along entire city blocks, capturing the whole facade of the buildings at precise intervals and distances. These photographs are then digitally merged by Jörg Dietrich into one image, creating unique visualisations of everyday architecture. This series of panoramic photographs offers a unique new perspective on Hong Kong’s much-loved architecture, the “tong lau”, and documents the city’s urban culture, allowing the viewer to examine the bustling life of a whole street.




Ki Lung Street

Stock No: SI001