Peter Nitsch is an international award winning photographer and designer who has split his life between Munich, Germany and Thailand over the past decade.
His latest exhibition is called Shophouses 4×8 m Bangkok, where he explores the relationship between business and home of Bangkok residents through photographs. This is definitely something as a photographer I am very interested in as the little shops scattered around Bangkok and all over Thailand are a treat to photograph.
Peter’s work speaks for itself as just last year this same exhibit won honorable mention at the Los Angles International Photography Awards. I had a chance to pick Peter’s brain a little about his work and the upcoming exhibition in Bangkok.
Talen: How long have you been a photographer?
Peter Nitsch: As a professional photographer since 1999/2000. But I have been taking photographs just for fun since I have been a Teenager, well, now almost 20 years ago. Gee, I can’t believe that time has rushed that quickly …
Talen: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Peter Nitsch: Some years ago I started focusing on strictly so called art photography in the urban environment.
Talen: As an amateur photographer I am always interested in what other photographers are using. What gear do you use and did you use anything special when working on the shophouse photos?
Peter Nitsch: I like to keep it simple: Analogue – One old Hasselblad V system with 100 and 50 mm objective, Gitzo Titanium tripod (superlight and super expensive, but worth when traveling a lot, because it’s so light), Digital – One Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 1D Mark II, fixed lenses 100 and 50 mm. I really don’t use any other wide-angle or superzoom. Further a small point and shoot Canon G5 and since one year I like to take snippets with my iPhone just for fun. In a few months I will set up a section on my website showing every week a new iPhone photo …
Talen: Many of us have fallen in love with Thailand and visit often or live there, what drew you to Thailand?
Peter Nitsch: My wife, she’s from Bangkok and I met her back in 2000 in Munich/Germany, while working on a design project. She’s a industrial designer. Through her eyes I travelled to Thailand the first time and immediately fell in love with Thailand her family and now I’m positively glued to Thailand like Sticky Rice with Mango. Way back in the old school days I have been enthused to Chinese kung-fu films and Asia in general. I think I’m more Asian than European …
Talen: Living between Germany and Thailand must be a great joy. What are some of the upsides and downsides of this dual lifestyle?
Peter Nitsch: I love to live and work in both countries. For me there’s nothing real up and down, as far as I can say up to now.
Talen: You have won international awards as both a designer and a photographer, has either of these fields pushed you harder to excell more in the other or do they both exist in harmony for you?
Peter Nitsch: For my kind of work it’s a perfect symbiosis, like left and right hand. You both use them for different things, one more than the other, and sometimes you use them together as one to grab things more tightly.
Talen: You have a show coming up in Bangkok in early August called Shophouses, what was the inspiration behind this series of photographs?
Peter Nitsch: To show arrangements that have developed from the necessities of everyday life and work on just 4 x 8 metres, the dimension of an average Bangkok shophouse, which is mostly crammed full to the last centimeter. I like that! A quote of the German Author Regina Moths describes it more detailed than I can do: “In Peter Nitsch’s photos, the visual appearance creates an almost physical sensation of constriction, which is followed by an ever-present awareness of improvisation.
One bumps one’s western elbows against the seamless transitions between the breadwinning, commercial or service providing products and our own carefully preserved sphere of personal privacy … Thus, Peter Nitsch manages to keep a balance of intimacy and behind the curtain views, which tell a thousand enchanting tales, yet he simultaneously insists on maintaining a distance in order to preserve everyone’s dignity: Both the observer and the observed.”
Talen: Can you tell us a little about the gallery where your exhibition will be taking place and what dates the show will be on?
Peter Nitsch: It´s a perfect coincidence, the images will be shown in the Kathmandu Gallery (87 Pan Road, Silom, 10500 Bangkok, Thailand, www.kathmandu-bkk.com) which is itself wonderfully-restored old pre-war Shophouse and is located near the Indian (Sri Mariamma) Temple in Bangkok’s financial district.
One could say SHOPHOUSES in a Shophouse. The owner, a Thai photo-artist Manit Sriwanichpoom, is a wonderful photography artist himself! For the exhibition I want to thank Miss Elke Tiedt and Marco Merten from the German Embassy Bangkok, who have been willing to support the exhibition.
The Shophouse exhibition will be on the following dates:
Speech by German Ambassador Dr. Hanns Schumacher
07/08/2010 (from 6.30 – 9 pm)
07/08/2010 – 26/09/2010
Talen: Will you have photographs or prints available for purchase?
Peter Nitsch: Yes, there are 37 photographs available for purchase. In the exhibition I will show 13 images as prints, the biggest one will be 180 x 180 cm, twelve of them in 70 x 70 cm and the other ones will be smaller sizes.
Talen: What does the future hold for Peter Nitsch, will there be more Bangkok exhibitions?
Peter Nitsch: I’m not sure, but there will be some upcoming exhibitions in Europe next year, with a new topic. And I’m planing to expand my website and some special projects exclusively available for the iPhone and iPad.
I’d like to thank Peter for letting me pick his brain and if you would like more information on Peter’s work you can visit his web site at http://www.peternitsch.com/.
For more information on the upcoming exhibition and the Kathmandu Gallery itself you can visit http://www.kathmandu-bkk.com/.
I’ll definitely be checking this exhibition out in September…