Meet Hugraphy – Our Featured Photographer
In these past few months, we’ve met some of the most inspiring & amazing photographers in UAE. We discussed their cup of life and here’s what they answered.Here’s our first featured photographer, Hussain AlMoosawi aka Hugraphy.
Hussain is a communication designer and photographer from UAE with a never-ending quest is to rediscover the urban landscape of where he belongs. He plans to do this by systematically documenting the subtle visual elements often overlooked in a country known for its modern architecture.
The start of his never-ending quest began 8 years back in 2010 and since then he’s been walking down the streets of Melbourne & now UAE and capturing the daily things that get unnoticed in our day to day routine.
What inspired him to pursue this?
Bernd and Hilla Becher are his greatest inspiration.
Bernd & Hilla Becher were German conceptual artists and photographers who worked as a collaborative duo. They are best known for their extensive series of photographic images, or typologies, of industrial buildings and structures, often organized in grids.
Also, the city of Melbourne where he spent some good parts of his life also, photographing it obviously.
What subjects does he like to capture the most?
Urban typologies. These days he’s focused on the architecture of the UAE.
Unlike fellow photographers in UAE who capture portraits/landscapes, Hugraphy is all about capturing similar looking typologies like, numbers, hydrants, signages of parking, under construction fences, etc. Have a look at the pictures here and you’ll be amazed how he makes the day to day things look better.
A little more about these projects:
After spending months of photographing Fibonacci street numbers, five was picked as the most popular. It is creatively expressed over and over, for which, it qualified to have its own typological grid. (Second row, first picture to the left)
With the rapid urbanization of Abu Dhabi island, buildings like The Diamond got lost in space and time. However, in areas of greater Abu Dhabi such as Al Shahama, such buildings still dominate the urban landscape, hinting that the area’s character changed only a little since its first development.
This commercial strip was developed by the Department of Social Services and Commercial Buildings in the 1980s. The buildings were first painted in blue and white. With time, some were refurbished in different colors, adding visual diversity to the strip parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road (E10). These buildings are slowly being demolished and replaced with taller ones. (Third row,third picture from left to right)
The project was published at The National.
The way a building controls its climate shapes the look of its exterior. Central AC’s are tucked at the rooftop or on the ground. Window ACs stick out like boxes. On the other hand, split unit systems add a gentle geometric touch wherever they’re installed — thanks to the shape of their nicely detailed discharge vents. From industrial facades to low-rise dwellings, this series explores the geometry and colours of buildings that utilise split units. This is an attempt to generate a pattern that bypasses modern architecture in the UAE, discovering the visual elements of overlooked structures.(Third row, first & second picture from left to right)
Although photographed in London, these hydrant signs can be found all over the UK. The number at the top represents the size of the main that feeds the hydrant, in millimetres. The bottom number is the distance from the sign to the location of the hydrant, in metres. Designed in a standard fashion that makes them clearly spotted, these signs, besides iconic symbols such as the red telephone boxes and hackney carriages, add an extra detail to the UK’s visual identity. (Second row, second picture )
No Parking: Melbourne
No parking, keep clear, 24-hour access, these are different ways of delivering the same message. What varies is the way they are visually portrayed. Some are solemn, many are expressive while others are humorous. Collectively, they form part of Melbourne’s urban identity. (Second row, third picture from L to R )
His latest project is Split Units & he has announced that it coming to an end. We’re quite excited to know what’ll be next.
Devices or materials Hussain (aka hugraphy) uses for capturing such great pictures?
Full-frame camera body and a telephoto lens which is Canon 5D MkIII + Canon 135L. He used the same camera & lens to photograph all pictures of his fences & split units project. Occasionally, he has used 85L for tighter spaces.
Did he face any hurdles in this journey?
Having the permission to photograph his subjects, properly using a tripod.
And the last question of ours was, what will be his advice for people who follow his art or want to follow your footsteps?
Follow your heart and create for yourself before anyone else.
If you want to ask more questions from him, leave those questions in the comments section below & we’ll be happy to add the new questions & answers.
Attributable to: Bhawana Preetish An avid thinker, reviewer, and procrastinator; on a journey to find beauty in everything. On regular days, she loves, laughs & lives. On the other side of life, she’s a Digital Marketer & PR professional
Follow her on Instagram & Twitter @bhawanapreetish