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Roland Hagenberg
(b. 1955, Austria)

Roland Hagenberg is a writer, photographer and filmmaker who grew up in Vienna, Austria. After his training as a psychiatric nurse he started to write and take photographs for German publications. In the 1970s he founded the literary magazine “Die Klinge” (“The Blade”). Contributors were renowned Austrian poets and novelists such as Friederike Mayröcker, Ernst Jandl and Robert Menasse. At that time Elfriede Jelinek – who later became a Nobel Prize recipient, was part of this Austrian literary circle.

Roland left Vienna in 1979 and moved to Berlin where he stayed for four years. The city was still divided and surrounded by “The Wall”. This surreal setting attracted artists from all over the world – with many of them Roland got acquainted. Berlin inspired him to document life around him. His preferred medium was not only photography: poetry and short literary essays complimented his work, which led to his explorations of New York in the 1980s –where his photo-series on Jean-Michel Basquiat originated.

During the 1980s Roland documented the art world in New York and collaborated on book projects with now legendary artists such as Karel Appel, Martin Kippenberger and Keith Haring. It is Japan, however, where his interest in contemporary architecture originated and where he has been living now for twenty years.

As director of numerous video documentaries Roland has captured the world of Japanese architects in particular, which he also describes in books –published in English, Chinese and Japanese. His passion is traveling. It is his way of understanding an ever and quicker changing world (a series of travel videos he created for BMW). Roland’s stories and photographs are also regularly featured in international magazines such as Vogue, Architectural Digest and Wallpaper.

Since 2010 Roland has been collaborating with Japanese architects to create experimental micro-houses in Raiding, the birthplace of composer Franz Liszt in Austria – among them Pritzker Prize recipients Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa and Toyo Ito. For his “Storkhouse” (designed by Terunobu Fujimori) Roland was award the Austrian Tourism Innovation Prize in 2014. The constant switch between words and visuals, print- and film media, lies at the heart of his work, which was presented on several occasions at Sin Sin Fine Art. The exhibition "Jean-Michel Basquiat and friends” in November 2014, however, is Roland’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong.

Full CV in PDF

Roland Hagenberg