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The artist

French photographer José Costa was born in 1971 in Paris in the house of a great patron of the arts. From a young age, he was surrounded by hundreds of modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures and began to refine his artistic eye. He would sit silently in front of paintings for hours. These works of art became this solitary little boy's imaginary playmates. A few years later, he began to express his fascination for art through photography. At age 16, José Costa produced his first images. He tried his hand at several genres and discovered architecture to be a multifaceted art form. Through his singular photographic style, the artist attracts our attention to urban landscapes, the influence of pictorial art on our modern societies, and uncovers an abstract aesthetic that is usually invisible.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Fascinated by urban landscapes, José Costa travelled to Hong Kong to photograph the facades of the high-density residential buildings that characterise this Chinese city. The resulting images reveal a transfixing beauty with their repetitive geometric patterns and saturated colours. This shot, taken in 2018 in Quarry Bay, is part of the photographer’s latest project entitled ‘Human Hive’. With this series, as unsettling as it is aesthetically pleasing, José Costa draws a parallel between how our society is organised socially, with its focus on the individual, and the structured organisation of a colony of bees. From the worker bee to the forager, each insect carries out a role vital to the proper functioning of the hive. In these photographs, however, the human hives that Costa condemns do not form a harmonious social whole but rather a collection of social categories within which individuals are grouped according to their situation. He states: ‘The more disadvantaged the social category, the larger the hive.’

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

07 January 2019

Artwork subject

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