It all started when Frank Fischbeck and his team at the book publising company FormAsia noticed a provocative advertisement of scantily clad flesh plastered across the façade of a building last spring. Then they saw another one; and then another one. For the purpose of lighthearted documentation and review, they decided to take photographs and invited writer Stuart Wolfendale to add colorful commentary. What started out as a hobby for these inquisitive creatives eventually transformed into the glossy coffee-table book “Sex Appeal in the City” which is out this month. Some of the photos juxtapose the giant, sexy adverts with wooden bamboo scaffolding. For example, a male worker scales the luscious lips of Coco Lee in a Pure Fitness advert on Queen’s Road East. Trying to capture the exact moment was no easy feat. “Sometimes we had to wait a whole day until midnight for someone to come and put the adverts up. It was a cat and mouse game,” says Fischbeck. He also remembers wanting to photograph a particular campaign at one of Hong Kong’s major skyscrapers. After a long wait, he asked the woman in charge of scaffolding when the work would start. He says: “She told us they would come on the 28th so we waited, and waited, and then finally, on the 30th, the bamboo came, piled on the pavement. It took three more days for them to put it all up.” An Italian man came up to Fischbeck once when he was taking a picture of the bamboo guys high up on the scaffolding around Coco’s bossom. “This would never happen in our country. This is illegal!” he said, and Fischbeck thought, “Well that’s why Hong Kong is such a success. We just get on with it, and do it!” Although packed with heaving cleavage, smoldering eyes and glistening torsos, Fischbeck says: “The book is really just a five-minute watch on the city—just a record of last spring, and there’s not many provocative ads like that anymore. I think the government is putting pressure on the advertisers to tone it down.” “Hong Kong’s unabashed consumerism caters to billboards that are the largest in Asia, brilliant and the most blatant in their visual messages.” "Hong Kong has become the self-proclaimed billboard capital of the world for its sheer scale and provocativeness. It offers titillating imagery on a Godzilla scale that makes Tokyo, Shanghai and other Asian capitals envious. Skirts lift up in the breeze to flaunt legs the height of giraffes. An assertively masculine image occupied the entire 30-storey Ritz Carlton Hotel just before its demolition." $330 at most Hong Kong bookstores. For more info visit www.formasiabooks.com .