Building Bridges

A proximal visit – filming stairs in Hong Kong in 360°

In the article series «Building Bridges» we focus on initiatives that bridge the gap between Switzerland and China. In the second story of the series, we introduce «A proximal visit» – a film project that captures stairs in Hong Kong in 360°. Do you know of an initiative of this kind, which should be covered here? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Life in Hong Kong is extremely expensive, and public space is rare. This documentary series explores the research of the Hong Kong Stair Archive and its research about the informal life on the stairs in Hong Kong. The short films allow the visitor to become part of this everyday life in Hong Kong. One is able to view the scene multiple times from various angles. So grab your VR device and sit on a step on the stairs in Hong Kong:

A proximal visit is a 9-part documentary VR series filmed in 360°. It was produced as a part of the «Stair Culture Project», a research project focused on documenting and archiving the social impact of informal public space. Featuring on location 3D audio, an overlay voice in English and Cantonese explaining each location and giving context to the situation, and an individualized musical score, which provides a unique layer to each part of the documentary series. One film of the series is a performance with the title «Transience» by Alain Chiu on Shing Wong Street.

The project is a collaboration between the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Producer Nicolas Büchi is based here in Zurich. When we talked about the project, I asked him what experience he wants to share with our readers here in Switzerland. He won’t take long to answer. For him, it’s quiet remarkable to see how small space the people of Hong Kong live in, making it natural to use public space as an extension of their private space. I also wanted to know of him, where he sees the «Zurich» aspect of the project. For him, of course, it was the collaboration with partners from Zurich (ZHDK, digitec). But also that one of the nine stairs filmed had to be the famous stairs to Victoria Peak – a reasonable but somewhat boring choice.


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