Angela Hau’s practice is informed by multiple dimensions of making. Having initially studied fashion design, her approach to architectural photography reflects an intuitive appreciation for texture, delineation, and depth. Each photograph is a space to inhabit, just as the folds of a garment wrap around a body, or the form of a building encloses an experience.
Her initial interest in fashion was shaped by the influence of the great structuralist designers whose work amplifies the conversion from pattern to embodied form. It was during a trip to Lisbon, experiencing the Portuguese National Pavilion by Alvaro Siza, that Angela’s understanding of construction translated to a love for architectural photography; in a few spontaneous images, she sought to capture the relationship between the weight of the vast porticoes and the flow of the draped concrete canopy.
Those images inspired her to travel around the world to photograph the work of visionary architects such as Carlo Scarpa, Marcel Breuer and Toyo Ito. The striking forms of Brutalism hold an innate attraction, and each image is tempered by an attention to tactility and intimate details. Clear expressions of positive and negative space are central to the power of her work, yet the images retain an implicit ambiguity which holds the viewer’s curiosity; each composition seeks to reveal the architect’s original intention while also suggesting that a buildings develops a life of its own.
True to her first photographs of Alvaro Siza’s architecture, Angela’s practice is a balancing act between gravitas and playfulness. Every image is an investigation, expressing a building’s personality through a play of geometry and graphics – constantly calibrating the different elements until the image becomes a space to be inhabited.