Hariban Award ’18 Grand Prize Winner Interview: Esther Teichmann

We are delighted to welcome Esther Teichmann as this year’s Hariban Award Grand Prize Winner. Before welcoming Esther to the studio for her residency, we had the chance to speak and talk about her winning body of work and what she is most looking forward to for her visit to Kyoto in December

Could tell us a little bit about yourself and what first drew you to photography?

I grew up in a small village in southern Germany in the Rhine valley near the Black Forest surrounded by swamps, lakes and rivers. The summers are incredibly humid with the most exquisite dramatic thunderstorms at night. As a child I would sit in silence with my father on the balcony in the dark, watching the storm unfold, bats flitting across the dusk sky, lightning momentarily exposing the blue back forest hills. This feeling of excitement and pure swelling joy at watching what cannot be put into words, is probably what first made me want to be an artist.

Could you explain your approach to making work and the central themes that you explore within it?

My work explores ideas of inherited home-sickness and the relationship between loss, desire and the imaginary. Within staged fantastical images, the subjects are turned-away figures of loss, always already beyond reach. Here, the photographic is loosened from its referent, slipping in and out of darkness, sometimes further removed by painting into the image in dripping inks, evoking a liquid space of night. The photographs, films and writing transform one thing into another, moving between between autobiography, fiction and myth. My approach might be best described as an unfolding, adding images, film, stories to a continually expanding body of work that is reconfigured as the fragments are pieced together in new ways.

As you will be travelling to Kyoto to collaborate with the artisans at Benrido, do you have any thoughts or hopes of how your work will be translated as collotype prints?– Is there an aspect of the award which you are most looking forward to?

I am very interested in looking back at the history of photography and photographic processes and setting these in dialogue with the present and imagined future, to create work that visually and materially moves across registers of time and place. I am incredibly excited and honoured to be offered this unique opportunity of working intensely with your studio and master artisan printers, and am really looking forward to having the time to work in such a focused way. I am also looking forward to going for long aimless walks through the city alone, having time away from the familiar to think about new work and write.

What do you hope to gain as an artist through this residency?

Often it is learning a new process, working with and learning from people so passionate and expert at their craft, that most inspires me, giving me ideas for new works. I am really excited about creating this body of work as Collotype prints, seeing them in a new form.





あなたは便利堂の職人とコラボレートするために京都にいらっしゃるわけですが、自身自身の作品がどのようにコロタイププリントとして表現されることを望んでしますか? また、今回のハリバンアワード受賞によってあなたが最も楽しみにしていることはなんでしょうか?






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