After Dark is a one-of-a-kind publication documenting Wong’s nocturnal journeys through the world’s most captivating cities. Following his début monograph, TO:KY:OO, which captured Tokyo’s beauty at night, Wong widens his lens from the city that became his spiritual and photographic muse to Osaka to Kyoto, London to Seoul, Paris and Rome. But he goes still further, seeking the rich tapestries of night-life in the foggy historical streets of his hometown Edinburgh, penetrating the backstreets of the megacity Chongqing, seizing the verticality of Hong Kong from its rooftops.
In classic Liam Wong style, the book has been crafted with a meticulous eye for detail. I particularly like the cinematic feel of the shots and the custom typeface, designed by Toshi Omagari exclusively for the book.
There’s something so appealing about the night. People unwind and live their second lives – for those who aren’t asleep. The darkness is brought alive by lights of varying types and colours. And Liam Wong knows how to bring that beauty out.
The photographer was born and raised in Scotland but moved to Canada after graduating from university. There, he became Ubisoft’s youngest director and taught himself photography at the same time. He bought his first DSLR (a Canon 5D III) in 2015 and released his first ever photo series entitled Tokyo Nights (TO:KY:OO). It was an acclaimed success and soon his work was being featured by the likes of BBC, Forbes, and Adobe.
“One night it rained and the city came to life. I got lost in the beauty of Tokyo at night. I was fascinated by how the city lit up and I just kept taking picture after picture. It was like being inside Gaspar Noé’s film Enter The Void, or living in the cyberpunk world that Syd Mead had created in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.”
Anyone who loves the dystopian/mecha anime or cyberpunk aesthetics will be captivated by Liam Wong’s work. Purple neon lighting is a common feature as is the sight of rain. A quick glimpse at any of his photos would give the impression it came from a video game. That’s the Ubisoft influence mixed with Blade Runner no doubt. Tokyo is already a vibrant city, day or night, but Wong injects his own beams of magical fluorescence. He manages to tell a story in pictures without a word being uttered.