Albert Elm’s sumptuous photographs of his journey through Siberia and China will make any jaded, city-dwelling soul feel an invigorating twinge of excitement in his or her heart. Travelling with Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol on the Trans-Manchurian Railway through the bitter winter, Elm’s images are bathed in warm, soothing pastel colours and suffused with light, conveying the wide-eyed zeal of a traveller in a foreign land. Stating that his working title is “Fish Out of Water” because his photographs describe the unnatural state of being away from familiar surroundings, Elm says that he “works from intuition and the urge to examine my everyday life”.
The photography series is still in progress, and Elm will be returning to Russia this Saturday (7 December). This time, he will go on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Novosibirsk to Yakutsk, the latter of which is known as one of the coldest inhabited places in the world. While we look forward to more exciting new images from Elm, he leaves us some food for thought with this quote: “My work is a photographic essay… I look for the odd in the supposedly banal. I want to show some twisted parts of life that triggers a feeling of curiosity and a desire to ask questions”. Until we hear from him again, we have to content ourselves with his breathtaking pictures of camels, abandoned cars and ordinary people captured in extraordinary moments.
Images courtesy of the artist.