For now 11 years I take pictures on my annual trips to Southeast Asia and I have now decided to publish some of my photographs in a book.
I've found the famous Kerber publishing house, which will publish the book and it will be released in May.
The book size is 21 x 22 cm with 108 pages, thread stitching and hard cover. The print of the 49 large and 900 small illustrations in color and with a text by Eva Schestag in German / English.
There are 3 chapters: still life, daily life and buddhist life. Please see at the left side.
For 150, - €, I offer the book, a photograph on fine art paper in 30 x 40 cm with passepartout, both signed.
The edition is 50 pieces per photo.
Travelling and photography. Photography and travelling. In the case of Jens Nagels, one wishes one could say both in a single word without granting one of these activities priority over the other. Jens Nagels is a photographer and enjoys travelling, in particular to Southeast Asia. Time and again, for more than ten years, Jens Nagels has travelled to South-east Asia and taken pictures – in order to have something to do when en route, almost out of boredom as it were. He travels slowly, enjoys staying at a place before setting off on a new journey. Time and again he is drawn to these distant countries in Asia, where people are friendlier and seem happier, where the rhythm of life is different, where idleness and boredom are prerequisites for the experience of the void and nothingness. This is precisely what he is interested in as a photographer and as a human being. He does not look for spectacular and breathtaking views, scenic highlights or attractions. His slowness enables the photographer to focus on everyday objects and accidental matters, beholding their demure beauty and perceiving their distinctly structured rhythm. In this respect, Buddhism is not an abstract but a practical philosophy to him.
Jens Nagels travels with a small, inconspicuous camera only. He takes photographs freehand, along the way, and has no intention whatsoever to stage himself or the things, people, and animals that he photographs. He does not speak the languages of the Southeast Asian countries he travels to. Rather, he listens to their sounds and their melodies and enjoys not having to understand and not being forced into a conversation. He is a free-floating observer who does not need to speak and may remain silent. This gives him the freedom to pay attention to details that are beyond the big picture, beyond the communicative and social context.
It was in Vietnam that a rainwater container immersed in a quite peculiar light was standing in front of a house. A moment the photographer sought to capture. A man came out of the house and asked in English: "Why are you taking a picture of this?" "It is beautiful", the photographer replied. Thereupon the old man said with determination "It is not beautiful", stressing each single word.
The people in Jens Nagels' photographs are often part of individual situations or the geometry of a landscape that he observes. Almost indiscernible, they are perfectly integrated into the composition of the picture. It is different with portraits. Here, we meet every individual person, looking at us with astoundingly open and genuine eyes. One would expect these people to meet the foreign photographer with distance and scepticism rather than with the welcome that is offered to him like a present in their serious, sunken, curious, proud, impish, bashful, sensuous, and incredibly sincere eyes.
The encounter with a foreign land does not only expand and deepen our world view but also enormously affects or shakes it, provided we are ready to let go and do not try to stick to what we call the self and the other.