Lukas is an artist. A storyteller. A conservator.
His multi-disciplinary projects have been turned into films, chronicles, online archives, books, and exhibitions. A large part of Lukas’ work deals with archival material he collects through travel or while delving into his own background. His narratives tackle recorded history by creating alternate storylines and fictional elements, alongside commonly accepted facts. Lukas often researches his imagery through explorations into cultures that have been affected by conflict. His created ‘archival artworks’ have little to do with institutional processes but rather center around personal stories, the desire to preserve their place in history, and Lukas’ own emotional attachment to them.
His research in Afghanistan alongside Irish Ethnographer Sean Foley and the subsequent book, Afghan Box Camera, have given voice to Afghan photographers and have inspired a global audience to keep a vanishing form of fascinating image making alive. This research has lead to a further publication titled Photo Peshawar exploring photo culture in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Lukas and Sean’s first collaboration Kafkanistan, a mixture of documentary materials and performance on tourism to conflict zones around Afghanistan, was released as book, film and travelling exhibition.
Lukas’ observations, while living in Beijing, of a rapidly changing Chinese society were published as Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom, a book of images capturing the instant nostalgia for the present on expired Polaroid film.
The materials and experiences Lukas collects through his extensive travels around the globe are transformed into everything from artist books to sculptural objects and are merged with his Polaroid images, prose writing, and poetry. In x=y – an ongoing project conceived from another travel experience at a border crossing in Iran, Lukas has been exploring the concept of crafted identities…and using them on some of his journeys.
He co-founded the Austro Sino Arts Program in China, publishing 5 annual books and organising exhibitions, film festivals, and large-scale installations across China and Hong Kong. In Yogyakarta, Indonesia he founded SewonArtSpace – a residency program that hosts artists from his native Austria and other countries, creating a space for collaboration with the local arts-community.
Lukas studied art and photography at the London College of Music and Media as well as printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a Fulbright fellow and a recipient of multiple awards and grants from government and private institutions such as the British Library, the Goethe-Institut, the Arts Council of Austria. His projects have been exhibited on three continents in galleries and museums and can be found in private and state collections in Europe, the USA, and Asia.
Currently, Lukas is working on the Myanmar Photo Archive – his endeavour to re-interpret and tell the story of Myanmar through collected photographs taken over the last century. The first book on the subject Burmese Photographers was recently published in Burmese and English in Myanmar.