March 2019, Article by Johny Bernhard
Cultures in Transition: Spirit, Heart, Soul
Photographs by Oliver Klink
Forewords by Anne Wilkes Tucker, Geir Jordahl and Peter Finke
Book available at www.culturesintransition.com
Cultures in Transition explores the changes that people go through, the subtleties that make their life evolve, their spiritual guiding light. As a boy in Switzerland, Klink had dreams of becoming an explorer, to follow his deep curiosity and hunger to understand what makes people who they are. In 2001, he made his first trip to China with his wife and in-laws, who had left China in the 1970’s. Their stories were riveting and became the catalyst for Klink 30 trips in the next 15 years to five Asian Countries (Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia, Myanmar). Hephotographed environmental portraits of the continuity between family, work, and spirituality. There was no separation, but peoples’ concerns about how ‘progress’ can create disconnection and alienation between themselves and their communities became more evident. This fluidity of life is at the core of Cultures in Transition.
With each subsequent trip to Asia, Klink’s explorations became more rustic and further away from the mainstream tourist locations. He watched people and started to feel their emotions about change, their worries, their acceptance. He witnessed them falling behind, trying to hold on to their comfort zones, their culture, and their spirituality. As opposed to a voyeuristic glimpse of another person’s life, the images articulate the subject’s true desires. His photography had evolved from process to artistry to authenticity.