Michael Wolf (photographer)

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Michael Wolf (born July 30, 1954 in Munich ; † April 24, 2019 in Hong Kong ) was a German-American photographer .


Michael Wolf grew up in California . He studied at the University of California, Berkeley and at the Folkwang University in Essen . In 1994 he went to Hong Kong as a photo reporter for Stern . Wolf lived in China for ten years . He later lived in Paris with his family . He worked as a freelance photographer.

His installation The Real Toy Story was shown in Hong Kong, Chicago and the Hamburg Museum of Labor . In 2005 he received a World Press Photo Award in the Contemporary Issues Stories category . After his series of subway and high-rise images from Tokyo and Hong Kong, in 2011 he published his greatly enlarged image details of accidental finds, which were photographed by Google Street View . For his series of random events on Google Street View images he received in 2011 at the World Press Photo Award a Honorable mention , an honorable mention.

From November 2018 to January 2019 Wolf had a large exhibition in the House of Photography in Hamburg's Deichtorhallen : Michael Wolf. Life in cities , in cooperation with the Fotomuseum Den Haag , curated by Wim van Sinderen. This last retrospective, authorized by Michael Wolf himself, was shown from June to August 2019 in the Urania Berlin .

Wolf's work can be found in numerous museum collections, including the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

Wolf died in his apartment on Cheung Chau Island in Hong Kong, where he had lived with his wife Barbara Wolf since 1994. There was a son from the marriage.

honors and awards

Works (selection)


  • 2017/18: Life in Cities - continued, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2014: Urban Spirit, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2011/12: Life in Cities - continued, Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2011: 3rd Prix Pictet, Christophe Guye Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland


  • Steffen Siegel: Visual bycatch on the net. In: the daily newspaper from April 2 and 3, 2011, pp. 30–31 ( full text ).


  • Lüchow-Dannenberg district: Right behind Gorleben . In: Geo-Magazin . Hamburg 1980, 6, pp. 38-60. Photos for the informative experience report by Horst Vetten, ISSN  0342-8311 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Wolf biography at World Press Photo .
  2. Photolot: crack of the social fabric. Pearl Divers , November 27, 2018, accessed April 26, 2019.
  3. a b Kunstenaar-fotograaf Michael Wolf plotseling overleden. In: fotomuseumdenhaag.nl . April 25, 2019, accessed May 16, 2019 (Dutch).
  4. Photographer Michael Wolf is dead. In: Deutschlandfunk Kultur , published on April 26, 2019, accessed on May 16, 2019
  5. 2005 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Stories, 1st prize .
  6. 2010 Photo Contest, Daily Life, Singles, 1st prize
  7. 2011 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Stories, Honorable Mention .