Hans-Christian Schink was born in Erfurt, East Germany in 1961. From 1986–91 he studied photography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (HGB) Leipzig (Academy of Visual Arts) and
earned his Master’s degree there in 1993.
In 2002 he received a scholarship at the Villa Aurora, Los Angeles, 2012 at the Villa Kamogawa, Kyoto and in 2014 at the German Academy Villa Massimo Rome. He also received various grants and awards, in 2008 he was named winner of the ING REAL Photography Award.
Solo exhibitions of his work were held at MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg; Neues Museum Weimar; Angermuseum, Erfurt; Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk, Cottbus (all in 2011); Landesgalerie Linz at the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz (2010); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta and Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Dr. Genaro Pérez, Córdoba, Argentina (2008); Martin Gropius Bau Berlin (2004) and others.
Works by Hans-Christian Schink were included in numerous group shows, among them: The Tropics, Iziko S. A. National Gallery, Cape Town (2009), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro (2007–08);
Veto: Zeitgenössische Positionen in der deutschen Fotografie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2009); Zwischen Wirklichkeit und Bild: Contemporary German Photography, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (2005).
Selected monographic publications are "Fotografien aus Rom" (2015), "Tohoku" (2013), "Fläming" (2012) "Hans-Christian Schink" (2011), "1h" (2010), "Verkehrsprojekte/Traffic Projects" (2004) and "LA" (2004).
My plan before getting there was to follow one of the main threads of my work: the urban landscape and the built environment in general. For most of my previous series’ I worked with a large format camera, preferably with the non-dramatic light of an overcast sky. So I was hoping to continue in that way.
But it didn't work out because of the weather conditions in Kochi. I had to find something that would relate to my other projects, but could also show some typical aspects of this place. At least from my point of view. And it had to be something that could be done within the short period of time of the residency.
Not for the first time, chance was crucial for the decision on a site-specific project.
After a few days of exploring the Kochi area I was vaguely thinking of taking pictures after dark. This turned into a real idea when the streets around my hotel were lit with artificial light for a movie shot. This intervention turned an already familiar place into something surreal. Confronted with this situation it occured to me that I would be able to create a similar atmosphere by using the available light sources in the streets of Kochi.
In my series LA.Night (2002/2003) I had already used this effect of shifting reality caused by different perception of light, by the human eye and the camera. At that time my conceptual approach as well as the technical conditions were very different.
For LA.Night, the characteristic of the film material was crucial, whereas in Kochi I turned to digital photography for the first time. The technical perfection of these images caused a completely different sense of artificiality compared to the photographs from Los Angeles.
There's a common aspect in both series though: LA.Night is based partly on the impact of Hollywood movies on my idea of Los Angeles. Very often these movies tried to turn the banality of this place into something mythical. To name only a few, the most important film in this sense for me was Mulholland Drive by David Lynch, in a way followed by Collateral by Michael Mann in 2004.
Finally, recalling the layers of images from these movies and from my LA.Night series, in combination with finding myself in the surreal scenery of the movie shot around Parade Ground, led to the idea of the Kochi Nights series.