Monday, August 12, 2013


We are nearing the end of the summer holidays in most of the Northern hemisphere. Doesn’t mean it will get colder. The sensation of temperature is a state of mind and over here where I am it is definitely rising. By all accounts this is going to be one hot fall! In ten days my latest book, Burmese Light, will have its coming out party at the big AsiaBooks in the Central World Department store in Bangkok.

Then it is on to London for a solo show in a fantastic gallery right on the banks of the Thames before heading back to Bangkok for… Respite, who says respite? Respite locks the joints just when the going was supposed to be getting easier and, more damaging; it freezes the mind. So onwards and upwards it is with the book fair in Frankfurt coming up in October followed by a 10 year anniversary for Bikes of Burden.

Do I see a special edition in the making? Possible. And if you’re a fan of the amazing bikes of Vietnam, it is something you do not want to miss. Stay tuned, come back every now and then. Let’s share the warmth of the greatest heat source known to us: the human mind and it’s limitless capacity for seeing possibilities.

Our engines are running the moment we realize that we’re not here anymore and are actually encouraged by not being there yet. You feel the heat?

© Hans Kemp 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Burmese Light in Motion

With Burmese Light on the way to shops and online stores worldwide it is time to ramp up the promotion. I made a book trailer from video shot while I was traveling around photographing for the book. That is one advantage of the digital camera; switching to video is easy. That is, switching the camera to video. Inside your head it is different. No longer looking for the decisive moment that says it all in one frame, video is about anticipating movement. I still prefer stills. Knowing that you have captured that one instance when everything was just right is a great feeling. Especially since such moments are so elusive. Looking for them keeps me moving, always finding myself
Not Here Anymore Not Quite There Yet.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


My previous post was written nearly a year ago I just discovered. Where have I been, what have I been doing? Booked! No, I didn't commit an offense that landed me in jail all this time, it's just that I was busy with books. Reading books of course, as nourishment for my soul - you'd be surprised how hungry she gets. Publishing books with my new venture Crime Wave Press - check out some of our exciting stories, pulp no doubt but very fine pulp at that. Photographing books or more precisely a book took up whatever time was left. But now she's at the printers, and before long Burmese Light will be out. Not just out but shine I hope she will.
Art Wolfe, the renowned photographer and TV host of Travels to The Edge, a fellow artist I highly respect and who I was fortunate to meet and show my printing proofs to had this to say: “Whether you are planning a visit or have recently traveled to Myanmar, Hans Kemp’s magnificent photographs combined with Tom Vater’s illuminating text create an unforgettable portrait of a truly remarkable country where light, landscape and culture leave an everlasting impression.”

And so we continue, onwards and upwards as I like to say, thinking of new projects, (non) fiction to read, crime to publish, being booked, knowing that I'm not here anymore - and not quite there yet.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bikes Without Borders

The Bikes of Burden journey has been an incredible one. Who would have thought when we took off in 2003 that the book continues to reach milestone after milestone. Last year, a German publisher came out with a German language edition and a week ago a Japanese publisher brought the book back to the home of the Honda Super Cub, the quintessential Bike of Burden. Later this year the bikes will travel to France and who knows what will follow? Bikes of Burden and I agree: there is always the next destination.

And that’s why I am

Not Here Anymore, Not Quite There Yet.

© Hans Kemp 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Spirit of the Tattoo

I like to share a video I made to draw attention to Sacred Skin, a book about Thailand's Sak Yant. Photographed by Aroon Thaewchatturat and written by Tom Vater, I published the book in July of this year. These spiritual tattoos have become something of a fad and these days you can see quite a lot of people sporting what looks like a sak yant. Unfortunately it is quite possible that the bearer of the tattoo has no idea about its true meaning and just got it because it looks cool.
As Tom puts it in the book:" When a tattoo master applies a sak yant, he also establishes a set of rules that his tattooed disciples are expected to follow for the rest of their lives...... Failure to observe the guru's instructions causes the sak yant to lose their power."
Sacred Skin is the first book in English that introduces sak yant to a wider audience and hopefully it will contribute to a better understanding of this aspect of Thai culture.

As for the question whether I have a sak yant? No, not (yet) because I still am

Not Here Anymore, Not Quite There Yet.

© Hans Kemp 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mind vs. Current

I recently returned from a dive trip to the Maldives. Only the second trip where I took the camera under water. Armed with 2 high powered strobes I couldn't wait to hit the water and in my mind I was already taking countless photographs. The current had other ideas though. As the seawater presses through the narrow channels between rocks, islands and reefs it creates the fiercest currents right there where the pelagics swim. And of course that is where I wanted to be too!

Lifting up the camera under these circumstances is no mean feat and at the moment of aiming, holding the camera with two hands, the current would push me away and I had to swim against it to get back to my position. Still have a lot to learn out there in the blue before adding the tag "underwater photographer" to my cv.

In my mind I can see it, now I only need to find a way to conquer the currents, just like with anything else in life.

Not Here Anymore, Not Quite There Yet.

© Hans Kemp 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wet Tattoos

The past months have been busy. I am publishing a new book by my good friends Tom Vater and Aroon Thaewchatturat. It is titled Sacred Skin - Thailand's Spirit Tattoos. More info can be found here:

With the printing finally done I took some time off and went under water. Camera and all. I love floating in the Big Blue and I love photography. If only I could combine these two....
So armed with a 10-Bar housing for my Lumix GH2 I explored the wonders of Tubbataha.

Some of the resulting pics you see here. This being the first time I am not unhappy while at the same time I see room for improvement. That's good cause the learning makes the living so much better.

Not Here Anymore, Not Quite There Yet.

© Hans Kemp 2011