Arrivals and Departures chronicles Jacob Aue Sobol’s travels across the Asian continent by train during 2012-2014, with stops in Moscow, Russia; Ulan Batar, Mongolia and Beijing, China, and numerous rural communities along the way. During three separate month-long trips, Sobol photographed the changing landscape from his window seat, as well as encounters with inhabitants of the locations where he disembarked. Using the camera as a tool to create contact, closeness and intimacy, Sobol’s approach to photography is personal. His voyage along the Trans-Siberian Railway was, he says “an investigation of the emotional states that control us, inspire us, and keep us moving.” The images capture life’s complexities: people, places and the relationships between them.
Sobol shoots in black and white, creating stark visual and emotional contrasts. Using a digital camera for the first time, but retaining the tight cropping and grainy imagery that characterize his Sabine and I,Tokyo series, the photographs are intense and immediate records of his subjects. Young couples in bed, animals traversing icy fields, stark corners of temporary lodgings are all depicted without reference to a specific place or time, reflecting the inter- connected, universal story that Sobol strives to tell.
Arrivals and Departures, as exhibition of nearly sixty 20” x 24” gelatin silver prints from the artist’s most recent body of work, will open today Thursday, July 16, and close on Friday, August 28 with a reception for the artist on Thursday, July 16, 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Yossi Milo Gallery in New York.
Jacob is a member of Magnum Photos. Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, Rita Castelotte Gallery in Madrid and RTR Gallery in Paris also represent him.
Jacob Aue Sobol was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1976. He lived in Canada from 1994-95 and Greenland from 2000-2002. In Spring 2006 he moved to Tokyo, living there 18 months before returning to Denmark in August 2008. After studying at the European Film College, Jacob was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed.
In the autumn of 1999 he went to live in the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the East Coast of Greenland. Over the next three years he lived mainly in this township with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family, living the life of a fisherman and hunter but also photographing. The resultant book Sabine was published in 2004 and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
In the summer of 2005 Jacob traveled with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned by himself to the mountains of Guatemala where he met the indigenous family Gomez-Brito. He stayed with them for a month to tell the story of their everyday life. The series won the First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006.
In 2006 he moved to Tokyo and during the next two years he created the images from his recent book I, Tokyo. The book was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008 and published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain) and Peliti Associati (Italy).
In 2008 Jacob started working in Bangkok and Copenhagen.