Norwegian photographer, Ken Opprann, has spent more than fifteen years of his illustrious career travelling the globe, visiting over 90 countries, documenting and reporting the vast array of cultural phenomena each place had to offer. After numerous years of backpacking, a time when his youthful curiosity was endlessly stimulated by humanity and its abundance of cultural diversity, he decided to make photography his lifelong vocation.
During his three years studying at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Opprann photographed street gangs and vagrants. On returning to Norway in 1995, he worked as a free-lance photographer for the Oslo based daily newspaper “Aftenposten”. Vacating this post in 2003 he has subsequently been involved in a variety of exciting projects. One of these involved a five year long photo documentation of the building of Oslo’s new opera building, from the laying of the first foundation stone, through the daily exertions and lunch-breaks of the labourers, to what now stands complete, proud and dignified in Bjørvika, where city and fjord meet. A documentary book “Vi bygde operaen” (We built the opera) was published in 2008.
Over the course of 12 years Mr Opprann created a series of 48 black-and-white photographs “Cambodian Encounters”, focusing on the inhabitants’ daily routines and activities. The product as a whole reveals a stunning mosaic of local life, with Ken’s unique use of angles and compositions capturing the subtle traits of Cambodian culture. This series exhibited at the Foreign Correspondent Club in Phnom Penh in 2006.
Several times a year, Ken visits large religious gatherings and festivals, recording the world’s five major religions in both public and private settings. This unmatched artistic documentation is gathered in his magnificent book “Tro - mennesker i møte med sin gud” (Faith - people meeting their God), published in 2009. Ken’s greatest wish is that his photographs contribute to an all-encompassing broader understanding, respect and curiosity across the boundaries of politics, geography and religion.
In Sunndalsøra (2000 – 2003) he documented the production of aluminium and the eventual closing down of two plants, due to the in-march of modern technology.
Ken has received many awards for his work, winning both the Norwegian Press Photographer Club’s “Photo of the Year” in 2001 and in the following year, the “Fujifilm Euro Press Photography Award”.
A visit to Ken Opprann’s home page - http://www.kenopprann.no/home.htm is highly recommended. Here his wonderful series on sleepers; steam engines; religious festivals, Hindu burial grounds etc. can be viewed at one’s own pace and pleasure.