Hans-Christian Schink
German photographer Hans-Christian Schink (b. 1961) is mostly know for his 1h series. Schink turns his camera to the sun during one hour-long exposures and a 'real solarization’ effect sets in. This black & white series consists of 24 landscapes, from all over the globe, and results in mystifying, surreal places wherein the movement of the sun and the passage of time are being captured.

Schink gradually grow into the idea of the 1h series. In the late 1990's he used for the first time the solarization technique (= photographic effect on a negative film where a chemical inversion takes place and the darkest points in the negative become light again.). Some years later on a trip to the Mojave Desert in California Schink was overwhelmed by the landscape and the piercing light that gave a surreal impression. He wanted to create the same effect with a longer exposure; hereby The Black Sun (1955) by Minor White was a source of inspiration.
Schink began to work very methodical to capture this photographic phenomenon: different locations all over the world that are characteristic for the setting of the sun, mostly in natural, but also in urban environments and consistently one hour-long exposures.

Due to the solarization effect, the earth’s motion and 1h exposure the sun is captured as a black line in a deserted landscape. This cannot be seen by the naked eye. Only on camera these ‘unseen’ places are preserved. Therefore this series returns to the basis of photography: drawing with light and the ability to capture reality. More specific: a different type of reality that solely can be perceived through photography.

The Berlin-based photographer is born in Erfurt, what was then East Germany. Given this background Schink is fascinated in the tension between nature and culture or rather the traces of human intervention in nature. In such a way that these interventions are never directly seen at first sight, but the marks they left behind are real. This is more apparent in his previous series: Verkehrsprojekte Deutsche Einheit (1998-2001), for which he spent seven years documenting new traffic-related constructions in eastern Germany, Tohoku (2012), a series of a region in north-eastern Japan made in 2011, one year after the tsunami and Vietnam (2005) in which human intrusions like: telephone cables, electrical transformers, loud speakers, and street lamps cut through nature and sacred temple architecture.
Although people are absent in his photography, nonetheless their traces are explicit.

Hans-Christian Schink studied photography at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig from 1986 to 1991 then proceeded with graduate studies from 1991 to 1993.
Since his graduation he already won numerous awards. In 2008 he received the distinguished ING Real Photography award for this 1h series.
His work is included in institutions such as Bundeskunstsammlung - Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas, Frederick R. Weisman Foundation, Los Angeles, Wilson Center for Photography, London.
As well included in private collections in Australia, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA.

Hatje Cantz published the series’ 1h in 2010 in a monograph.


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