I’m excited to participate in City Landscapes at In Focus Galerie with Burkhard Arnold in Cologne – which will feature work from my China series Gai

Ellen Bornkessel, Peikwen Cheng, Susan Dobson, Elliot Erwitt, Thomas Hoepker

Exhibition: March 3 – April 7 2017
Opening hours: Thursday – Friday 4 – 7 pm, Saturday  11 am – 6 pm
Vernissage: Saturday, March 4 2017, 7 – 9.30 pm

In Focus Galerie
Hauptstrasse 114
50996 Köln

For more information visit In Focus Galerie

The “altered landscape” has long been a theme in photography. In 1975 William Jenkins curated the exhibition New Topographics at George Eastman House, which featured Robert Adams and Stephen Shore, among others. This seminal exhibition was both a reflection of the local environment, including a highly conceptual, documentary, detached and socially critical comment on an increasingly modern world, which was driven by economic rationality and mostly absent of its makers.

The exhibition City Landscapes (Stadt-Landschaften) at in focus Gallery certainly associates itself with the movement, however, it delves further. Whilst the New Topographics photographers primarily emphasised an objective, documentary focus, the artists in this exhibition are specifically interested in interpreting and examining the relationship between the human being and altered urban landscapes.

Elliott Erwitt’s photographs of adolescents sunbathing on cars and Thomas Hoepker’s rooftop image of a woman sunbaking amidst an urban jungle depict – with a touch of irony – how, even in dismal, constructed or rundown urban landscapes, human beings arrange themselves and yet still dream of more beautiful surroundings or of summer and holidays.

Ellen Bornkessel’s photographs from the series, Play portray people who have adopted the city as their natural environment. They conquer the urban surroundings of cities and make them their own through their nighttime antics. In the series Ghost Mountains, the nightscape is hidden in valleys or behind mountains and illuminated solely by the city’s artificial light.
The landscape is ever changing: whether over the seasons or due to the development of cities. Transformations such as these are documented and deliberated upon by Peikwen Cheng and largely through his nighttime scenes.

Susan Dobson also illustrates nighttime landscapes in her series Moonrise, which due to the moonlight at first appear romantic and upon closer inspection of the uniform townhouse settlements, industrial estates or burning barns, become paradoxical. Another of Dobson’s series’, Retail, in which she employed image manipulation, reveals the interchangeable and bleak make-up of the majority of suburban supermarkets.

City Landscapes at In Focus Galerie Mailer 1 City Landscapes at In Focus Galerie Mailer 2

To the Nth Power from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng

To the Nth Power

Truffula from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng



Rising from the Ashes from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng

Rising from the Ashes



Cloud City from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng

Cloud City

Jewels from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng






At the Center from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng

At the Center

Dawn of a New Day from the series Gai by Peikwen Cheng

Dawn of a New Day