Chris Wong has photographed celebrity staircases such as the Tulip Stairs of the Queen’s House in Greenwich to humbler subjects such as the turquoise curves of Royal City Centre in New Westminster. Staircases are Wong’s thing. Fibonaccian spirals, half landings, double winders — he loves them all.
Sometimes he shoots them from the bottom up; sometimes he shoots them from the top down. If they’re from the top down, “you can’t take the elevator,” he said. “I always walk to the top.”
Wong, in his early-50s, is @wongski on Instagram, where you can find his staircase photographs along with shots of his other urban interests. He’s got 41,100 followers and counting, but is humble about his work. Wong is also a moderator of @stairwalkers, an Instagram account that curates photos of staircases from around the world, and as the account’s name suggests, staircases must have someone walking them.
Those unfamiliar with Instagram, which now boasts 700 million users, might be surprised by the niche obsession. But staircases are only one of many specific urban moments documented and categorized in a Darwinian manner by Instagrammers around the world. There’s #puddlegram and #puddleporn, for street and cityscapes doubled in a puddle. There’s #strideby and #peoplewalkingpastwalls, for individuals in profile strolling past an interesting background. There’s #soloparking and #asundaycarpic, for vintage cars, bonus points for shots with nostalgic architecture behind.
“That’s the beauty of it,” said Wong. “Anything that you’re into, any style or situation, you can find it. And you can try it yourself.”
Capturing and sharing these quiet moments might seem like a solo activity, but Wong will tell you it’s anything but. Instagram has launched him into the global community of urban scavenger hunts for the perfect shot.
Read the full story in the Vancouver Courier here.