Jannis Schulze, born in 1987 in East Berlin, is based in Berlin. He studied visual communication at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee from 2008 to 2014 and completed his MA under the guidance of Professor Stefan Koppelkamm in 2015. In 2014/2015 he received Germany’s foremost distinction for aspiring art photographers, the “gute Aussichten – young German photography” award, for his BA project in college, entitled Quisqueya. His works have been shown in several museums and galleries, including the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, the Landesmuseum in Koblenz and various Goethe-Instituts. He realizes most of his projects abroad. Though he often takes the themes and subjects of his photographs from journalism, he always approaches them from a subjective artistic angle.
During his three-month residency Schulze began working on a photography project about Beijing using motifs from Chinese mythology Pangu(盘古), Beijing. The completed works will be exhibited in Beijing in 2017. The title refers to a Chinese creation myth: the giant Pangu (盘古), in contrast to Western mythologies, does not create the world out of nothing, but separates the earth from the heavens whilst growing taller and taller for 18,000 years. When he dies, his body, breath and voice become various parts of the terrestrial and cosmic world, and the fleas on his fur become animals and human beings. These elements of continuity and balance form the point of departure for Schulze’s exploration of the aesthetics of perception and his photographic practice.
During his residency, Schulze also began to work on a long-term project in China. In 2015, Beijing was picked to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. In response, he joined forces with two curators at the yi-projectspace in Beijing to set up a platform called Beijing22.
Beijing22 is an “open, independent, long-term curatorial project” to follow Beijing’s development over the seven-year period leading up to the Winter Olympics. Beijing22 will accompany the city’s evolution in the next 6 years in the form of exhibitions, publications, talks, symposia and other activities, presenting and reflecting the positions and perspectives of various Chinese and international creative artists, academics and representatives of other disciplines.