Lukas Birk
works / typed matters / exhibitions / publications / press / news / programs / research / contact & bio
china journal / rebirth reverie / passing bye / construction layer/ polaroids from the middle kingdom / x=y / kafkanistan / human tool / learn to breathe / junsui



china journal mixed media book, 80 pages / 2007-2012

go to top

rebirth reverie mixed media book,108 pages / 2011-2012

“Rebirth-Reverie” is a hand crafted journal of thoughts, ideas, moments, dreams-illustrations of the surreal moments of fleeting emotions and visions between waking and sleeping. This unique artist book is a travelogue of the creator’s mind and recent past. The book begins with candid visions from life in Beijing, is interspersed with nostalgic moments of his family and friends in Austria, and captures adventures in Afghanistan and explorations in Japan, Korea, India and many other places along the road. This book is displayed openly and is meant to be touched, for viewers to experience the narrative of the artist’s thoughts and travels. Kaherine Don for Do A Book exhibition. Below a few pages from the book.

go to top

passing bye mixed media on paper / 2010-2011

go to top



construction layer mixed media series, base material acrylic boards and canvas / 2009-2011

Lukas has been living on and off in Beijing since 2007. The pervading immensity of construction and continues reformation, building materials, walls, cranes, trucks and workers forming the city scape of Beijing and of cities all across China, is a sight very difficult to render. Lukas started recording some of these building sites in 2009 by photographing, sketcheing or simply by actively looking at them. He then created the first collage on a thick acrylic board with spray paint, lacquer and pencil. He applied several layers of print (silkscreen and a digital high pressure heat print) onto the board. Following several layers of lacquer and spray paint. The result very much resembled Lukas’ feelings towards these enormous impressions blurred by Beijing life and its fast growing environment. This first piece was a starting point for a two year journey of layering his construction memory onto flat surfaces. Acrylic board, canvas, paper, silkscreen, etching, oil and acrylic paint, digital print, spray paint and pencil are some of the techniques and materials used in this series.

go to top



polaroids from the middle kingdom - polaroid series with expired material

Lukas Birk polaroids from china

the whole series will be printed in the upcoming publication Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom, Glitterati Icorporated NYC, February 2014.

go to top



x=y id cards and performance

i·den·ti·ty - /aɪˈdɛntɪti, ɪˈdɛn-/ plural identities
- the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another: He doubted his own identity.
- condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is: a case of mistaken identity.
- the state or fact of being the same one as described.
- the sense of self, providing sameness and continuity in personality over time and sometimes disturbed in mental illnesses, as schizophrenia.
- exact likeness in nature or qualities: an identity of interests.
- an equation that is valid for all values of its variables.

go to top

kafkanistan, tourism to conflict zones film, book, installation.

Kafkanistan explores the world of present-day travel and tourism to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; it is an image of that world based on actual happenings. What started with an email asking Lukas to join Sean Foley on a documentary research about tourism to Afghanistan turned into 3 year project resulting in 3 films, a book and touring multi-media installation. Below fragments of this exploration with its fascinating stories, souvenirs and rumor infused realities.

film (excerpts of Lukas's 50 min film)



the book can be purchase on Amazon or via Glitterati Icorporated



elements of the kafkanistan world

Osama Bin Laden candy

Osama Bin Laden Candy

vision of paradise

Vision of paradise

Used Burqa shop in Herat, Afghanistan

Miss Canada(left), apparently a prostitute going to Kabul for business. SmileyWhallah (right), one of the protagonists of the Kafkanistan world.

Landmine educational posters

Landmine fields in Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

Deminer at work.

A prominent martyr from Iran (souvenir postcard).

Wolfshit from Band-e-Amir, Afghanistan (a souvenir)

Beer garden receipt from Kabul (left). Dancing for the Buddhas in Bamiyan (right)

go to top



learn to breathe interactive installation and film

Learn to breathe is a CCTV installation and film directed by Lukas in London in 2007. The interactive installation plays with the reality CCTV systems create by giving Immediate access to a situation and A space. The viewer can access 4 different camera perspectives of two rooms in which dancer Caroline Bridges performs two characters in straight-jackets. All the camera streams are pre-recorded but can be accessed by the viewer as if live, occurring at that very moment. At the end of the performance, in an element of surprise, the two characters merge to shwo that the instllation is not live at all but a pre-recorded session.

On the left the linear film version of this installation. On the right installation at Ada Street Gallery in London, 2007.

go to top



human tool experimental film and installation. a project with kate mclarnon.

Human tool is an experiment transforming a human being into a tool by using various technical devices. The first 2 hour experiment in 2006 was edited into a 15 minute film. Transforming Jonas, a 26 year old classicalLY trained trumpeter into a painting tool controlled by Franick, a 27 year old painter and film maker. The experiment was then adapted and performed  in public at the take away festival in the science museum London.













A second experiement was conducted during the 2007 edition of the Take Away Festival at the Sience Museum in London.














junsui じゅんすい photo series & film


stop frame animation with music by asa chang & junray

book introduction by kate mcLarnon

Where does he go looking for the dark? I, where do I go looking for the dark to bring up between my white teeth to tell you? Under bridges? In the body, between pages. Staring hard through the darkroom, that joinery, looking for you between the beams and in the water. The places you look.

Black lines hard along an edge. Feel across the fringes with fingers interwound (can I tell yours from mine?).

Searching out the bleached bones of the image we found instead flesh unexpressed by light. Shocking, half known arms thrown around dreams. Tiny flares break across the surface.

The pictures we found, trying to forget the light.

And the sea fast against the grain of land. Broken rocks above the field of colour. Tips of rock wet by chemicals, I break off secrets (come away in my hands), revealing lost bodies hidden deeper and nearer, distant like childhood.

The black slips between the rain, reminding my body. Time moves differently in the dark, in the water.

Surfaces meet without warning. Wet heat merging into air, the ideal of lines long lost with the light. These prints, like sudden pressing my face against black marble, veins of light in a hard depth.

The shutter gasps and the black rushes in. 

I am not taking these to tell you what you already know. I'll spread my fingers and let the shadows run through, feel for the paper, finding only the chinks in the grain and let the light drip in. The form is changed by time, the moment outgrows you. Look longer than you mean to.

Breath peaking like rock.

I first fell in love in the dark. Outlined, thrown from a flower of firelight calling across the rocks. There were slight birds of light disturbing the sea. Grades of grey cut down a cheekbone, and a deep wet badge of black, my mortal fear of her mouth and a strand piercing the clouds around her lips.


go to top