Photographer Liam Wong, who is known for his cinematic photos of Tokyo at night, is back with a new collection of urban images for his book After Dark. A sort of sequel to his popular monograph TO:KY:OO, After Dark sees Wong cast a wider net as he explores other urban centers at night. This collection of photographs delves into the night atmosphere of other Asian cities like Osaka, Seoul, and Hong Kong, but also touches on Europe with visits to London, Paris, and Rome. Wong's hometown of Edinburgh is also represented in this new publication, which is currently winding down a successful crowdfunding effort.
Wong, whose background is in videogame design, found the publication of his first book a cathartic release. After it was finished, he was drawn more to filmmaking and cinematography, which changed his approach to photography. “With After Dark, it has been my way of exploring cinematography, using the cities as my backdrop,” Wong tells My Modern Met. “Each image is delivered in a cinematic aspect ratio which not only changes the way that the work is presented but also gives limitations as to what can fit within any given frame.”
To help select what photographs made it into the publication, Wong turned to his followers. Using their feedback, he was able to see what they responded to, while also highlighting a variety of different cities. “The book features multiple cities and so they are laid out in a way that hopefully surprises the viewer,” Wong shares. “While some cities may feature more than others, the goal itself is highlighting the similarities or differences and connecting themes as you turn the page.”
From solitary taxi drivers in Seoul to 4 a.m. photos of London's Piccadilly Circus in complete silence, the photographs capture the other side of bustling cities. As Wong spends the night looking for imagery, he reveals the different, nocturnal life of these urban centers. By exploring the loneliness of the urban world, Wong breaks down a barrier and invites us in to see these alternate spaces.
If you're interested in taking a journey through urban darkness, you have until October 9, 2021 to pre-order After Dark. Readers can choose from different perks, including signed copies of the book and a special collector's edition with a print.
Wondering how Wong made the leap from videogame designer to photographer? Listen to our inspirational and in-depth interview with him on the My Modern Met Top Artist podcast.