Henrik Emtkjær Hansen is a self-taught danish photographer with a focus on personal landscapes in and around the Wadden Sea area, Denmark.
In his work, he often looks for the untold and unseen, the “something” that is not there. Something hidden or not entirely obvious. That is why he makes pictures to tell stories about places with not much in it. With his work, he tries to depict some sort of uneasy mood, for some viewers calming, for some disturbing. His pictures tell about a place and, at the same time, although there isn’t any presence of a human being, they show the vividness of a presence. Hansen’s work concerns exactly this connection between human and nature: more precisely the ambiguity between human tracks and natural things. Natural shapes and man’s objects resonate each others, thanks to his minimalistic/non-rhetorical approach to the subject, which emphasises this ambiguity.
The Wadden Sea
The Wadden Sea series by Henrik Emtkjær Hansen is an ongoing personal photographic exploration of place and presence, that relates to seeking out solitude, but also human traces in this vast, flat area. At first glance it looks static, but is really ever changing, both in terms of the ecological system, weather wise and historical.
“What I find here, anywhere with an open or desolate space really, but particularly in the Wadden Sea area, is a feeling of childish curiosity and peace. In such space we can allow ourselves to explore and, at the same time, dwell in the quiet surroundings. I see the camera as some sort of guide in this place, an alibi to open up to seeing and being aware. In The Wadden Sea the seeing part is essential to me. It’s not just looking at something or watching a landscape, a dirt road through the marshland, it’s something more if you allow it. I like the observing part of photography, but it can sometimes be more than that, or at least something else. This is what part of the ongoing series is about and why seeing and therefore photographing the landscapes is important to me. As you change, your view and way of seeing change. What started out as a series of explorations of the geographical and physical place, has evolved into something more or something else than the specific Wadden Sea area.”
The Wadden Sea is the largest tidal flats system in the world, where natural processes proceed largely undisturbed. It extends along the coasts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. For its globally unique geological and ecological values the Wadden Sea is listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. Nowhere else in the world is there such a dynamic landscape with a multitude of habitats, shaped by wind and tides. Global biodiversity is reliant on the Wadden Sea.
To view more of Henrik Emtkjær Hansen’s work please visit his website.