Jochen Lempert | Fieldwork
October 28, 2016 — April 2, 2017
It is with great pleasure that the Izu Photo Museum presents the first-ever solo exhibition by Jochen Lempert (born 1958, Moers, Germany) to be held at a Japanese museum.
Following more than a decade of biological research, the Hamburg-based photographer has produced a body of black-and-white photographs focusing on a variety of living things (such as animals, plants, insects, and human beings) and natural phenomena. Lempert’s works, printed from film by the artist himself and notable for their analogue quality, not only function as detailed records bolstered by scientific knowledge, but are suffused with a great affection for all forms of life.
Lempert has established a new type of expression in Germany, a recognized pioneer in photography. A humorous composition and unique installation style ensure that his works intertwine organically, conveying the joys of freely associating with the multilayered world and connections that constitute our planet.
This exhibition consists of over 100 works, including The Skins of Alca impennis (1990-2016), an important and ongoing project documenting extinct seabirds; Belladonna (2013), which offers us hints for connecting and coexisting with ecosystems; Symmetrie and Körperbau (1995-2016), focusing on the physical forms of various living organisms; and Physiognomische Versuche (2002), which compares a variety of facial features; as well as the artist’s latest works.
Antelope, 2013

■ The artist’s first solo exhibition at a Japanese museum
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Jochen Lempert’s work has recently been introduced in exhibitions across the globe, including solo shows in Germany and the U.S. This event marks his first exhibition at a Japanese museum.

■ A unique worldview based on extensive knowledge of biology
Lempert’s works, which focus on a rich variety of subjects, are not only detailed records based on scientific knowledge. They also convey a unique worldview that encompasses a great affection and expansive perspective of all living things ー including human beings.

■ Original juxtaposition of images and approach to installation
Lempert’s exhibitions are installed by attaching his works – unmounted photographs printed on baryta paper – directly to the wall with tape. Though the images of different species taken at different points in time depict subjects that initially seem to be unrelated, the works transcend the physical boundaries between them, becoming organically entwined. The exhibition encourages viewers to make free associations regarding the multilayered worlds and potential connections that constitute our planet.


From The Skins of Alca impennis, 1990-2016
From Belladonna, 2013

From Physiognomische Versuche, 2002
From Symmetrie und Körperbau, 2005

Born in Moers, Germany in 1958. Jochen Lempert became involved in filmmaking and performance in the late 1970s as a member of Schmelzdahin, a group he was associated with for about ten years, and began working as a photographer in the early 1990s. In parallel, he began studying biology at Bonn University in 1980, becoming, over the course of a decade of research, an artist who was also highly versed in natural science.
Lempert is currently based in Hamburg. In recent years he has held solo exhibitions throughout the world at institutions including Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery (Canada, 2016), Cincinnati Art Museum (USA, 2015), Hamburger Kunsthalle (Germany, 2013), Midway Contemporary Art (USA, 2012), Rochester Art Center (USA, 2012), and Museum Ludwig (Germany, 2010). His works are included in numerous public collections, such as Museum Folkwang (Germany), Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Germany), Centre national des arts plastiques (France), and Huis Marseille, Museum voor Fotografie (Netherlands). In 2014, he was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, one of the most prestigious contemporary photography awards in the world.
From Un Voyage en Mer du Nord, 2009

■ Artist Talk
Jochen Lempert will explain his work in the exhibition space and take questions from the audience.
Date: Sat., Oct. 29 at 14:15 (please come to the museum’s reception desk; the event will take about 50 min.)
Admission free (with exhibition ticket)
No reservations required

■ Special Lecture
The contemporary art historian Matsui Midori will discuss the alluring aspects of Lempert’s work as well as the state of contemporary photographic expression.
Date: Sun., Feb. 26, 14:30 to 16:00
Venue: Clematis no Oka Hall
Admission free (with exhibition ticket)
Reservations required
To reserve, please call: 055-989-8780

■ Curator’s Gallery Talk
The curator of the exhibition will provide easy-to-understand explanations of the displays and works.
Date: Second Sat. of every month at 14:15 (please come to the museum’s reception desk; the event will take about 30 min.)
Admission free (with exhibition ticket)
No reservations required

■ Gallery Talk for Families
Families are invited to interpret the works as they enjoy looking at the exhibition together.
Intended for elementary school children in the first to third grades and their parents or guardians.
Date: Sat., March 18 at 14:15 (please come to the museum’s reception desk; the event will take about 40 min.)
Admission free (adults need exhibition ticket)
Admission free for elementary school students
No reservations required

Botanical Box, 2014
Related Publication
Jochen Lempert (limited to 1,000 copies) *sold out
A limited-edition photo book commemorating the artist’s first exhibition at a Japanese museum.
Date of publication: October 28, 2016
Published by Izu Photo Museum
Sold by NOHARA
Price: 1,800 yen plus tax

Organized by|IZU PHOTO MUSEUM With the support of|German Embassy Tokyo
All images ©︎ Jochen Lempert. Courtesy BQ, Berlin and ProjecteSD, Barcelona