BredaPhoto: Michael Wolf

15 September - 31 December 2016

Starting 15 September, Breda’s historical city centre will transform into a huge exhibition space for the seventh edition of BredaPhoto International Photo Festival. The theme of BredaPhoto 2016 is YOU. After decades in which everyone expected the welfare state to provide for us, now the responsibility has shifted to the flexible and resourceful individual: YOU!

Many perceive this as an opportunity: they start their own business, fund art projects via crowdfunding, and pioneer new initiatives in the neighbourhood. Yet self-reliance is not necessarily a matter of personal choice. It can also be a harsh necessity, as the state steadily withdraws from sectors like housing, care, education and culture. BredaPhoto 2016 explores the pros and cons of this development, and the creativity and vulnerability of the self-reliant citizen. BredaPhoto brings together work by more than 70 photographers. The collection is exhibited in special locations throughout Breda’s city centre, including MOTI.

During BredaPhoto, the museum presents the work of Michael Wolf (DE 1954). In his book Informal solutions (2016), from which he drew for his exhibition for BredaPhoto, Michael Wolf describes his work as an ‘encyclopaedia of back-alley improvisations’. Among the ‘informal solutions’ he encountered in recent years in Hong Kong are self-made lounge corners, plants in unexpected places, a mop that seems to be part of the streetscape, and a mini-break held on a random spot. These are the small but clever interventions through which people carve out their little patch in the city. Wolf presents photographs and short videos, but also some of the objects he has collected throughout the years. Together they form an alternative roadmap through this metropolis.

Photography allows me to be inquisitive and to invade other people’s lives.

Wolf has lived on and off in Hong Kong since the 1990s. He documents life in this megacity as a remote spectator. For example, he made iconic photographs of dense urban housing that only show high-rise buildings. The viewer can only fantasize about the thousands of lives that are lived behind the endless rows of windows. In Paris he used Google Street View to create A series of unfortunate events (2010). On his computer he photographed the random events that occurred when Google passed by to photograph the streets. As Wolf once commented: ‘I am hugely inquisitive about people. Photography allows me to be inquisitive and to invade other people’s lives.’ Wolf won two World Press Photo awards for his photographs of Chinese factories and the ultra-crowded Japanese subway.

Wolf’s work is on display in MOTI from 15 September to 31 December 2016.

Buy your tickets for BredaPhoto in advance! During the festival you can also purchase tickets at the MOTI ticket counter. For more information go to