MEET MARTIN LEUZE
he finds beauty in the cities full of skyscrapers
as Martin walked in, i knew that he is a photographer. never letting what he sees go. his firm eyes told that, and his concentration into our conversation said so.
say hell to Korean audience! tell them who you are and briefly introduce about your exhibition.
first of all, it's very nice to be here, it's my first exhibition in Korea, at Platoon. i'm very excited that it's eventually going to happen. it took a long way to actually be here and see all the pictures hanging down at Kunsthalle. (he looked thrilled.) it's great to have them and see them on the wall, hanging down there, i like it and thanks for having me.
Seoul - you decided to take photographs in Seoul, what made you to come all the way from Berlin to Seoul?
the main reason is from this project - to compare two completely different cities to each other, that's the main topic. therefore, i already had Berlin as one city, and i needed the counterpart, and i was always also fascinated for Asia, culturally and geographically. i knew that it's going to be different enough and a same time exciting enough. so, Seoul - why not? people don't know much about Korea, about Seoul. then i also had an opportunity to get to know PLATOON which i knew from Berlin. it's a great venue and it got clear that i'm doing collaboration here, and that i want to do it in Seoul. it's perfect and super lovely opportunity to make the exhibition work. i have to say it was a perfect decision, because city provides so much interesting motives and such good vibe.
i know it's a cliche but it is an essence of all other interviews out there - what is your inspiration?
reality. (he posed a bit.) that's it. what's around us, what's around the next corner. somewhere you walked for last 5 years on your way to work, when you just look up at the right moment and see something and think, "wow that always had been there? amazing!" so that kind of surrounding.
what’s your next destination?
this year, i have to finish Copenhagen in Denmark. i started last year already but couldn’t finish due to the weather situation. then i’m going to Brussel in Belgium, i’m currently organizing Toyko and Beijing. i got a contact in both cities, from possible collaborators, so that would be amazing.
(is there any particular standard when you choose a city?) not actually. because i never really inform myself before where to go. i like to be surprised. for what i do, it’s hard to say that i only need modern houses or new areas, or only old areas… it can be everywhere or nowhere. but just go and start walking. i must be interested in something in the country and in the city. this interest could be culture or climate.
then, what would be your ultimate goal in your photography life?
it's a good question. i would definitely continue with what I'm doing right now, because there are a lot of places left on my map where i would like to visit and document in my own way like i did with Seoul, even through reductions within my pictures, the differences between Berlin and Seoul, which are 8000 kilometers far apart, even this differences are vanishing, by reducing them. there's different visuality in every cities. Copenhagen is different from Brussel, Berlin, Riga, different to Seoul. i want to fulfill this global project to document 25 cities. to create abstract architectural world map, and after that, let's see if something else interests me and come up with another thing.
one last question: how do you want people to remember you as a photographer?
first of all, what the biggest achievement would be is to surprise people. in a way that they think as they walk and think “right, it is an interesting perspective that i haven’t thought about! that could be interesting!” i would also be super happy if they could see the big picture of the project and then realize that within this motives, it is interesting as in a certain and specific view on something that we are day by day being part of, but not appreciating this around us.
i also had an experience that people looked at two pictures and thought “yeah, it’s a façade, it’s a window, it’s boring.” but maybe, if they give me one more chance to show them 20 pictures, then they will see the idea behind it. they will hopefully and eventually get the spirit i feel when i take the picture; transport the spirit from me, and to you. that would be amazing.
the first thing i noticed in his last sentence of interview was that: Martin is a photographer who appreciates. who appreciates his photos, people who looks at his photos, and cities he walks in with his camera.
should you fancy looking at his photos at the exhibition at Kunsthalle, click here to find more info.