PDN Photo of the Day

The West Reflecting on the East

“My work is more questions than answers. It’s clearly political; I’m not trying to dodge that. I approach [a subject] from as many angles as I can, so it seems ambiguous, and people can enter into a dialogue with it,” says Greer Muldowney, one of the 2014 PDN’s 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch, who is also an adjunct professor at Boston College.

Muldowney’s series “6,426 people per km2” questions the accelerated development of Hong Kong, the trepidation of advancement and the effects on global climate. Her work is ironic and unique—she exposes the issues of over-population and crowding without people and crowds. Feeling that photographs of overcrowding, squalor, industrialization and pollution in China only create “media fatigue,” Muldowney aims to go in the opposite direction, seeking a look that is “as Disney, candy-colored-acid-trip pretty as possible.”

Who inspires her? Michael Wolf and Edward Burtynsky’s images of Asian cities have influenced her work, but she seeks a different approach. “Burtynsky tends to flatten the environment, and take a privileged, Western perspective. I was trying to counter that,” says Muldowney. Employing a focus on architecture, particularly the high-rise apartment building of the middle-class, she has managed to highlight the humanity of an overcrowded city, without capturing a single body, soul, or face.

Muldowney was a winner of PDN’s 2013 search for undiscovered fine-art photography, The Curator. The 2014 edition of The Curator is open through April 9. Visit the website for more information.

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