Gunther Schumann - Goethe-Institut Pakistan

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Gunther Schumann


Gunther Schumann Gunther Schumann was born in Berlin on 1 December 1987. Since 2009, he has been working as an independent artist and illustrator in Halle (Saale), in Hamburg, and in many different places around the world. Diverse grants and scholarships have enabled him to approach cities through his drawings; the list of exhibitions (among them, for the Comic Salon Erlangen, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation) is long. Schumann has received awards primarily for his video works. His perspective is poetic, political, reflective, varied, and unconventional.

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For me, the difference between travel photography and travel drawing is...
"… that travel photos often end up as digital junk on my smartphone or my hard drive, whereas there is always something sensuous and haptic about drawings. Memories suddenly come alive when I look at a fleeting sketch done in an old travel journal. I instinctively ask myself: Why did I draw this particular motive? What was happening around me at this very moment while I was drawing? A photograph may produce a more objective picture of the surroundings, but that is also what makes it more impersonal. Also, you usually take a closer look at your photographs only after your trip. Yet, when I draw, I am in the present moment and am very conscious of all that is happening on the ground."

When I draw...
"…as an illustrator, I am forced to make the time to engage consciously with a place. Certain details in the surroundings become important and gradually come to the fore in one’s perception. You can also feel the pace and rhythm of the (city) environment while drawing because you often have to detach yourself from the hectic flow of activity, stop for a moment, and your stillness allows you to observe certain patterns of movement."

Inspirations on my ‘travels’ have been, above all...
"… François Avril. He captures the rhythm of a city with a few brisk strokes. In his illustrations, surface and space meld into each other. Places are interwoven with loose patterns comprising textures and lines. People, as tiny figures, blend in with the cityscape."

I would like to travel...
"... to South Korea and sketch the snarl of electric cables and telephone poles. I am fascinated by how cities, despite their rigid, planned concrete architecture, can sometimes still contain a maze of organic and chaotic forms. It is this contrast that interests me above all."

My reading for my next trip will include...
"... a book by Douglas Adams. The best would be a book from the series: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He simply does a wonderful job of spicing up absurd encounters and precarious situations with a pinch of English humour. Some of the episodes in his fantasy fiction are curiously similar to some of the encounters and experiences that I have had on my travels."

... at Graphic Travelogues