Meet The Photographer Who Had Unique Access To The Construction Of The Shanghai Tower – Nicky Almasy
When asked by CNCREATE how he got into doing this unique project Nicky stated to us:
“When in 2008 the SWFC building was built I was busy with other projects and to my regret I completely missed documenting the construction with photos, so when I first saw a rendering of the Shanghai Tower around 2009 I decided to pay close attention and started visiting the site and taking photos only for myself from the very first days. I wasn’t allowed in but luckily I had classes in a building nearby each Monday morning so I took photos from the 19th floor regularly”.
He further stated to us:
“It was my first year working for That’s Shanghai as a photographer and funnily enough my editor phoned me one day to come quickly to an office because we have to take a few shots of someone important. When I got there to my astonishment it was the chief architect of the Shanghai Tower, Marshall Strabala (back then still working for Gensler). We took the portraits and first nothing happened, a few months passed and my editor met him again in Singapore, they had dinner and he mentioned my name to him. ‘Do you remember my photographer, Nicky? He’s documenting the Shanghai Tower just for himself. Would you mind looking him up when you’re back in Shanghai?’”.
“For a few weeks he didn’t call but then I got a sudden call from him and he invited me for dinner. All I wanted to ask him to take a few photos of him working on the Shanghai Tower site to make it into a photo essay for the magazine. I could never imagine that this will turn into years of work together and he gave me constant access to document the construction and come with him to even meetings with the Shanghai Tower group. I was the only laowai frequently allowed on the site so I basically photographed the project for 5 years, from 2010-15. It was like a dream coming true going on the top at the most exciting times, in blinding heat or at the time of typhoons and knowing the building inside out before anyone”.
“Shanghai Tower opened a lot of other doors for me and certainly it was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in photography, I ended up with about 800GB of exclusive material which we are turning into a book with a European publisher, Art and Globe”.