1938Born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1956Apprenticeship as photographer in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
1963 - 1969
Assistant at the „Institut für psychologische und soziologische Marktforschung“, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Foundation of the company Videor Technical in Rödermark, Germany
1974 - 2005
More than 60 trips to the Far Eeast, mostly Japan
Stay in den US (6 months)
Study trip in the USA (Visits of e.g. Digital Art Center Stanford University Palo Alto, Duganne Ateliers, Los Angeles)

“Strangely real and mysterious in a fascinating way” is how the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes the pictures produced by Ernst Hartig (EHa). And in reality, this contrasting impression virtually imposes itself when viewing his works. A pretended or intended contradiction? His pictures reveal him to be the eternal seeker. His curiosity drives him on, and it leads him upon journeys around the globe. Always on the trail of the unknown, the exceptional.

He is impressed above all by the Far Eastern culture. In his countless journeys to the Far East and long stays in Japan he has obtained insights, knowledge, and also trained his senses.

Impressions and experiences are sometimes expressed in his picture compositions only much later. His intensive preoccupation with Zen Buddhism and the Sogetsu School guides him to recognise the significance of craftsmanship as well as the undreamed-of potentials that are based upon the force contained in one’s own personality. And this is what drives each person to grow and to strive for constant development and perfection of both – a continual and surely a nearly tireless search. The perfection which is never to be reached already anticipated, yet unflinchingly followed, his own ideas.

This is why the Far Eastern, the Japanese influence is distinctive in Hartig’s works of photography, just as is the closeness to his native country. Maybe the artist’s visionary approach finds its substance directly in these apparent contradictions.

It is the contrasts that we repeatedly encounter in Eha’s works just as in his personality, and which fascinate us. He shows us a beauty that is timeless yet simultaneously morbid. He firstly draws our view to the essential with reduction, and only makes the detail visible by defamiliarisation, without disregarding the whole.

Artistic sensibility on the one hand, and technical skill on the other form a symbiosis. How naturally the photographic artist utilises digital technology as his own tool.

Inge Broschk