Thomas Struth’s series ‘New Pictures from Paradise’ – large-format landscapes of dense primeval jungles and forest from all over the world as a deeper inner connection with the consciousness through contemplation and appreciation of nature. Thy are not a longing for a lost paradise or utopian visions, but a state of feeling to be one with the Universe at the present moment.
“Although they have a strong feeling of time, they are ahistorical. One sees a forest or a jungle but there is nothing to discover, no story to be told. They have more to do with the self. The viewing process is complicated, and the viewer becomes more aware of how he or she is processing the information, heightening an awareness of the here and now.”
Philipp Keel’s project ‘Splash’ – emphasizing the radiance of details and the shining colourful side of random objects in a new creative form of recording the magic of reality.
“The chance element in my work is not that I am confronted by a particular motif, but that I happen to have a camera with me at that decisive moment. From then on, I change from being a collector of images to an experimenter”. (Noovoeditions)
Sebastian Schutyser’s series ‘Flowers of the Moon’ – capturing with black and white infrared photography the mystical aura of the Mountains of the Moon, unveiling the pristine beauty of these landscapes as a lost paradise.
“In the heart of Africa lies an icecapped massif with a mythical resonance: the Mountains of the Moon (Rwenzori Mountains). The ancient Greeks referred to them as the supposed sources of the river Nile. Ever since, explorers, scientists and adventurers have been fascinated by this last great mountain discovery of the world, on the border of present Uganda and the Congo. The afroalpine climate of the Rwenzori Mountains is determined by two geographical factors: they are very near to the equator, and high above sea level with peaks over 5000m. These particular conditons have provoked an extravagant vegetation. Most stunning are the giant heathers, senecios, and lobelias. What emerges is an image of a sublime landscape in resonance with the paintings of Douanier Rousseau.”
Abelardo Morell’s series ‘Flowers for Lisa’ – a delirium of floral still life with all sorts of influences—painting, music, design, fashion, philosophy, started as a birthday gift for his wife instead of a bouquet of actual flowers.
“However, something in the making of that first photograph gave me a newly found spark to experiment in ways I had not done before.
I chose the subject of flowers because they are lovely things – often exchanged between lovers – and they are part of the long tradition of still life in art. Precisely because flowers are such a conventional subject, I felt a strong desire to describe them in new, inventive ways.
Abelardo Morell – Flowers for Lisa
I love the way Jan Brueghel, Edouard Manet, Georgia O’Keefe, Giorgio Morandi, Irving Penn and Joan Mitchell, reworked the look of common flowers to show unexpected versions of them. The subject of the photographs in my work may be flowers, but they are also pictures about perspective, love, jealousy, hate, geometry, sex, life, the passage of time and death. I love how in choosing to limit myself to one discrete subject I was able to open doors into a world where I felt inventive, improvisational and fresh.”
Playing with abstraction and negative space, Simon Chaput creates a series of dynamic compositions with the striking combinations of geometrical forms of the stone observatory ‘Jantar Mantar’ in Jaipur. Through dramatic angles and close-ups, the artists revives human’s quest for unveiling celestial mysteries and the eternal longing for a cosmic connection with the universe.
Simon Chaput – Jantar Mantar
Built in the 18th century for the study of astronomy, there are five Jantar Mantars in India, all with an eccentric design, of which the largest is in Jaipur.
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It consists of 19 instruments including Vrihat Samrat Yantra, which is the Biggest Sun Clock in the World. Relying primarily on Indian astronomy, the purpose of the complex was to give reading of the trajectory of the planets and stars, predict eclipses, measure local time and other cosmic events. The monument is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Simon Chaput – Jantar Mantar
The series is published in a book by Nazraeli Press with a short story by the renowned author Salman Rushdie, written specifically to accompany Chaput’s dramatically beautiful photographs.
Tom Jacobi’s series ‘Into the Light’ – breathtaking landscapes that unfold a timeless power of the white color on our visual and psychological perception as fundamental, magical and symbolic, to offer space for contemplation and encourage us to look to the future.
Tom Jacobi – Into the Light
The work presents Part Two of the trilogy Awakening started in 2014 with the project Grey Matter(s). Whilst the Part One illustrates, by means of a reduction to an almost colourless world, the way man emerged from the darkness, the current series focus is on the white, dazzling as a colour of light.
“White occupies a particular position in the spectrum of colours. White is, like black and grey, an achromatic colour. Ultimately, it is not a colour at all – or to put it differently: white is the sum of all colours, the sum of all wavelengths within the visible range. It thus arouses the same impression of colour as sunlight. There is almost no context in which white is seen as negative. This results not least from the fact that white is often regarded as the antithesis of its opposite, black. We experience white as the positive gaze into brightness, whereas black is seen as negative, like gazing into darkness. White is affirmation; black is negation. White has echoes of purity and spotlessness. It is the symbol of transparency and transcendence… White is associated with divine light and is used in practically all religions for the representation of the superordinate, the divine. Man needs white, the brightest of all colours, for survival, because it provides support in a world without stability.”
Tom Jacobi – Into the Light
It took the artist two years to complete this work. He travelled back and forth across the world, “searching once more for archaic landscapes which either dominate by virtue of their light or open up to the light in unique moments.”
The two parts of the trilogy provide opportunities for contemplation on the opposite ends of light – its presence and absence around us. The third and final part examines the state of ‘The Light Within’, to illustrate the artist’s skills of reducing to the essential and to conclude that the real light is within us.
Samuel Zuder’s project ‘Face to Faith’ – capturing the silent majesty of one of the most fascinating places on earth – the sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet in an iconic collection of portraits and landscape panoramas.
Samuel Zuder – Face to Faith
“In the midst of the stony desert of the Changtang plateau, it towers up like a pyramid: Mount Kailash. Tibetans also call it “jewel of snow” due to its unusually symmetrical form. It is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever been to. The four major religious traditions Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Bon worship Mount Kailash not only as a sacred mountain, but they refer to it as the origin of the universe. Year after year, hundreds of believers set out for the exhausting pilgrimage to Mount Kailash. Out of respect for its spiritual importance Mount Kailash has never been climbed. In 1985, Reinhold Messner was authorized to climb it but he consciously decided against it. For this reason, Mount Kailash is one of the rare untrodden places of our world.”
Karolin Klüppel’s series ‘Mädchenland’ (2013 – 2015) – powerful story with contemplative aesthetic about a rare phenomenon in our contemporary world – a kingdom of girls who hold all the power.
“In the state of Meghalaya in India, the indigenous people of the Khasi with 1,1 million members form the majority of the population. The Khasi are a matrilineal society. Here, traditionally it is the girls who are of particularly importance and who play an exposed role in the family. The line of succession passes through the youngest daughter. If she marries, her husband is taken into her family‘s house, and the children take their mother‘s name… I tried to capture the girls as the strong personalities they are. Just because they’re not smiling for the camera doesn’t mean they are unhappy. It is the same for adults, isn’t it?”
Jacques Pugin’s series ‘Blue Mountain‘ (1995–1998) – Switzerland’s landmark, the majestic Matterhorn, in mixing its raw landscape beauty by adding painting, straight lines, curves, shadows and light, to “correct nature’ and create a new dynamic composition of dreams and nightmares in the blue realm of the twilight.
Jacques Pugin – Blue Mountain
“The mountains of Pugin are like Russian dolls, intertwined with each other, strangely similar and yet different, but all redesigned with a maniacal care, recomposed and colored in the manner of a painting… By working on his volumes, reshaping his contours, giving him the thousand and one nuances of the night, Jacques Pugin shows us what we usually do not see: a play of forces and lights, hidden symmetries, shadows that speak or are prolonged, an alphabet of signs that must be learned to decipher.” (Jean-Michel Olivier)