ANDRZEJ ZIÓŁKOWSKI – Street Photography

A small photo exhibition focusing on the everyday life of Southeast Asian residents completes the exhibition by the same artist, presented simultaneously in the lower gallery.

“Ours is a world of multiplied images. And ever since our phones began to function as cameras, we have been creating pictures ourselves on a mass scale. The unprecedented development of tourism is making it increasingly difficult for us to be impressed by any cultural or natural diversity. Trips to exotic corners of the world are available at our fingertips for reasonable sums of money. And even if for some reason we decide to stay at home, the Internet offers hundreds, if not thousands, of films that can make us feel as if we were in Yakutia, Peru or the southern reaches of Africa. The world, with all its diversity, is now up for grabs. With this state of affairs, it is increasingly more difficult to present a spectacular story or show that would stand out from the myriad of other stories and images. And yet, some succeed in doing so.

Andrzej Ziółkowski’s photo album “The Inward Moment. The Human Being and the Sacred” presents a captivating selection of photographs which show the spiritual experiences of the people of South-East Asia.

Andrzej Ziółkowski, who was born in Gdynia and is an electronics engineer by training, has been leading a nomadic life for many years. In 1986, he moved with his family to Germany, and a few years later, to Singapore, where he received a job offer in the design office of the French corporation Thomson. Singapore is a city-state that is unique in its kind – a multi-ethnic and multi-religious melting pot that brings together everything that is most colourful and beautiful in this region of Asia.

So how did Andrzej Ziółkowski, an amateur photographer documenting his family expeditions, become the author of an album of such outstanding artistic and photographic qualities which have been appreciated at numerous openings, exhibitions and interviews?

As far back as I can remember, I enjoyed photography, but my passion for photography was truly awakened when I discovered Steve McCurry’s photographs. His work inspired me and opened me up to new areas of photography. In 2008, McCurry held an exhibition in Singapore entitled “The Unguarded Moment” and an accompanying workshop which I happened to attend. McCurry talked about the photographic side of his work, also sharing his experience of the situations in which each photo was taken. These were fascinating stories accompanied by simple but valuable advice, such as to go beyond the threshold of the house and simply take photographs without bothering about the camera settings, just taking pictures on automatic, concentrating on the frame and composition. I haven't attended any photography school, but I carefully looked at thousands of pictures by renowned photographers, I listened to what they said and read their statements. I travelled around Asia and took a lot of photos, until I plucked up the courage to show them to photographer and photojournalist Tomek Sikora. It wasn't easy. Although we'd been friends for many years, I was aware that I would be subjected to the assessment of an outstanding artist. This is how he became my mentor. I listened to his comments with great attention. I was perfecting my technique using the training-on-the- job method. I embraced all his valuable advice and followed it diligently during my next photographic expedition. “The Inward Moment” is a mature debut album. I am very happy that it is so appreciated, but I don’t consider myself a photographer. I am a mere traveller wandering with a camera and trying to capture moments of spiritual intimacy and the vicissitudes of human existence. I leave it to the viewers to judge if I do so successfully.

Maja Jaszewska [at:] Po prostu żyj. No. 4, 2021

Read more about the exhibition “The Inward Moments. The Human Being and the Sacred” >>

Andrzej Ziółkowski – Street Photography
Café Club Aquarium, Galeria Bielska BWA
8 April – 15 May, 2022

Exhibition opening and meeting with the artist:
Friday, 8 April at 7 p.m.
moderated by: Tomek Sikora