On this first page you can get an overview of what I do and what my interests are. As you will see most of my work and research is image based and combines tactility and some form of photography. I actively archive photographic history, primarily in countries that have issues doing so for themselves and have created spaces for artists to expand their experiences outside their usual environment. I believe in collaboration! Most of my larger projects have their own Online platform. For more casual news follow my Instagram. Thank you for visiting the site. Lukas
Myanmar Photo Archive
In 2013 I was very curious to see if there were any photo archives available to the public in newly opened Myanmar. Finding that this was not the case I started to collect materials and have since gathered more than 20.000 photographic objects. In the last years, I have curated exhibitions and published books on photographic culture locally in Myanmar. With the help of the Goethe Institute, the European Union and many Burmese collaborators we are currently creating a large-scale archive platform in English and Burmese to be released end of 2020.
Books & Publishing
Books have been an inherited passion of mine and I have released around two-dozen books with various publishers or under my own imprint Fraglich Publishing since 2007. This small publishing endeavor is currently growing and I am starting to release titles by other authors primarily on photographic history.
Box Camera Research
In 2011, I initiated together with my colleague Sean Foley a research on Box Camera Photography in Afghanistan. This research turned into the AFGHAN BOX CAMERA PROJECT, and further into the book PHOTO PESHAWAR as well as an everlasting interest in Box Camera Photography. The latest manifestation of this interest is a community platform and book BOX CAMERA NOW, with the work of photographers using this rudimentary camera around the world.
I take great pleasure in transforming a project or idea into a physical space. Whether it is my own curation or in collaboration with others, there is something uniquely exciting in creating an experience visitors can delve into, a transformation to another place. I had the fortune to hold exhibitions in many different environments and adapt projects to different audiences.
FERNWEH - an Archive
Most of my work deals with creating narratives in places that lack alternative history telling. Thanks to the help and push of the curator Natasha Christia I forced myself to reflect deeply on the influences of my family and upbringing onto my life and decision-making. This process was channeled into a book and touring exhibition.
Having worked with photography, analog and digital, since teenage age I naturally became more interested in different forms of printing. Especially dealing with archival material I was looking for ways of changing the medium of photography into different narratives. Prints do allow for that and thanks to great teachers at the Rhode Island School of Design I acquired a few printing skills.
Artist books are the perfect combination of my love for the book form and experimenting with printed matters of any kind. Each book is a unique object, painted, collaged, drawn, repainted so on. Some of the books took me years to complete as they have been companions on journeys and research trips. In the last years I had a little bit less time to work on this medium but there is a long list of ideas waiting to be printed and bound.
I am a trained photographer. Although I hardly produce conventional photography anymore these days, I would still call myself a photographer as most of my work has to do with photography. I approach my research on photographic history from a practitioners perspective and take images that support the research work visually. Hence on my current website are only a very few photographic projects accessible but as you see pretty much everything I do has a hint of photography.
Over the years I have set up several arts programs and physical spaces for artists together with Karel Dudesek. In 2009 we initiated the AUSTRO SINO ARTS PROGRAM. For 5 years we displayed and curated work of foreign artists reflecting on China in China. We have set up exhibitions, touring public displays and film festivals. In 2013, we opened SEWON ART SPACE in Yogyakarta Indonesia, hosting artists and allowing them to experience a different artistic environment.
KAFKANISTAN was certainly one of my first and personally most important projects. My long-term research partner Sean Foley and I went on a quest to document tourism in conflict zones between 2005 and 2007. It turned into a rather bizarre journey through Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and resulted in a book, exhibition and several films. It was a very influential project for all my future work and thought process about creating narratives no matter the medium.
I certainly would not call myself a filmmaker, but I have created films and also video installations over the years. I use the medium film frequently but there is no specific style or form attached to my films. The AFGHAN BOX CAMERA PROJECT features several films and so do other research projects. Here you can find a mix of artistic films.