In this last year, we’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the nature of images and how they work to inspire and transport us, especially when we ourselves are restricted in our travels. The Geoffrey Bawa Trust is thus delighted to present this collection of photographs by Sebastian Posingis, Unseen Bawa. Posingis is perhaps the author of the most extensive collection of contemporary photographs recording Bawa’s work. The photographs shown here, taken over a course of 5 years, reveal Posingis’ extraordinary sensitivity to the poetry in Bawa’s buildings.
The Unseen Bawa exhibition was originally installed at the Paradise Road Gallery Café in Colombo, formerly Geoffrey Bawa’s office, where the work resonated with the rhythms, patinas and proportions that characterize much of Bawa’s architecture, exemplified in the Gallery. Installation views of the exhibition in 2019 can be seen here.
Sebastian Posingis is a German photographer who spent much of childhood in Iran, Greece, India and Sri Lanka. His photography has appeared in Architectural Digest, Domus, Der Spiegel, the New York Times and Vanity Fair, among other publications. For the last ten years Posingis’ focus has been making photobooks on architecture; His books include The New Sri Lankan House (2015), Sri Lanka. The Island From Above (2017) and Bawa Staircases (2018). Sebastian’s most recent work is the forthcoming book on Geoffrey Bawa’s garden at Lunuganga, Salt River, to be published by Gerhard Steidl in 2021. Sebastian is represented in Sri Lanka by Barefoot Gallery.
When I started taking pictures of "Bawa's buildings" years ago, I was acutely aware of the images taken before me by Dominic Sansoni, Christoph Bon, Christian Richters and Hélène Binet to mention a few of the photographers that have left their mark. So rather than setting out to find new angles or a vastly different way of seeing them, I wanted to record all of Bawa’s projects in detail, like a bird watcher ticking off each species.
Yet it has been astonishing to see the breadth of work done by Geoffrey Bawa. Trying to photograph all of his buildings in Sri Lanka, I was excited to discover so many that I had not seen published before – the unseen buildings are for me a reminder that we should never stop looking and an invitation to explore as these are just as magical.
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