Lars
Tunbjörk

Lars Tunbjörk

biography


Swedish. Born in 1956 in Boras in Sweden. He passed away in 2015.

Whether creating an acid portrait of Sweden, representing the nightmarish world of business offices, tapping into the desolate uniformity of petrified, petit-bourgeois neighbourhoods, examining the state of marginalised peoples in a nation praised for its system of social protection, or exploring the strangeness of a town on the cusp of the Arctic Circle, Lars Tunbjörk has totally forgotten his black and white beginnings.

All his energy is now devoted to the exploration of colour, which he approaches in the style of 1970’s American photographers. This is his starting point for questioning the world, a series of interrogations more than observations, which he develops without pessimism but with an undeniable affliction softened by a biting humour. Over time, his approach has become radicalised and purified by being less and less anecdotal. Consequentially, his series no longer represents characters but rather the often absurd track of their presence and their actions.

Lars Tunbjörk exhibits his work all over the world (Germany, Russia, Island, England, Sweden, Japan, France…).  His works belong to the collections of museums like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in Stockholm, the Centre Pompidou and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark or the Fotomuseet in Norway. 

« With Lars Tunbjörk, we are fortunate to have before us a very rare example of this incisive approach to the world which, after having deciphered our gaze and derived our zygomatic ideas, invites us to reflect, hardly rejoicing but not desperate, on the state of the world in which we live.» Christian Caujolle (1999)

Series


De pays en pays

Born in Sweden, Lars Tunbjörk had regularly photographed his country during his life, he worked with a resolutely worldwide perspective.

The Shoppers Republic of China, 2011

While many countries are still reeling from the global financial crisis, China is witnessing a frenzy of consumer spending, encouraged by its government.

An off-beat look at the Deauville G8 Summit, 2011

As part of the Festival of Photography "Planche(s) contact", the city of Deauville has invited Lars Tunbjörk to take a look at the G8 meeting which happened in may 2011.

Really Extreme Makeover, 2010

It’s one thing to renovate a house. It’s quite another to turn a cave — or a water tower or a church — into a home.

Vinter, Sweden, 2008

The photographs in the Vinter series deal with the mental state we enter during the dark period of the year.

Cannes Film Festival, 2007

Cannes film festival is often remembered with conventionnal pictures : a red carpet, some stars...

Fashion week in Paris, 2004-2006

In 2004, following an order from the newspaper Libération, Lars Tunbjörk immortalized Paris Fashion Week.

Dom Alla (Tous ceux) 2000-2003

The photographer Lars Tunbjörk and the author Goran Odbratt had visited several times Swedish social places.

Home, Sweden, 2001

Swedish housing plot. An artificial and sterilized empty place which is starting to be disturbing.

Office,1988-1999

Offices in New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, are the place of a life that people lose while earning it, they are unbearable.

Sweden, 1995

During his lifetime, Lars Tunbjörk has drawn an acidic portrait of contemporary life in Sweden, his home country. 

Paris, 1989

Série | In his Parisian series, Lars Tunbjörk explores Paris 200 years after the French Revolution.

De pays en pays

Born in Sweden, Lars Tunbjörk had regularly photographed his country during his life, he worked with a resolutely worldwide perspective.

The Shoppers Republic of China, 2011

While many countries are still reeling from the global financial crisis, China is witnessing a frenzy of consumer spending, encouraged by its government.

An off-beat look at the Deauville G8 Summit, 2011

As part of the Festival of Photography "Planche(s) contact", the city of Deauville has invited Lars Tunbjörk to take a look at the G8 meeting which happened in may 2011.

Really Extreme Makeover, 2010

It’s one thing to renovate a house. It’s quite another to turn a cave — or a water tower or a church — into a home.

Vinter, Sweden, 2008

The photographs in the Vinter series deal with the mental state we enter during the dark period of the year.

Cannes Film Festival, 2007

Cannes film festival is often remembered with conventionnal pictures : a red carpet, some stars...

Fashion week in Paris, 2004-2006

In 2004, following an order from the newspaper Libération, Lars Tunbjörk immortalized Paris Fashion Week.

Dom Alla (Tous ceux) 2000-2003

The photographer Lars Tunbjörk and the author Goran Odbratt had visited several times Swedish social places.

Home, Sweden, 2001

Swedish housing plot. An artificial and sterilized empty place which is starting to be disturbing.

Office,1988-1999

Offices in New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, are the place of a life that people lose while earning it, they are unbearable.

Sweden, 1995

During his lifetime, Lars Tunbjörk has drawn an acidic portrait of contemporary life in Sweden, his home country. 

Paris, 1989

Série | In his Parisian series, Lars Tunbjörk explores Paris 200 years after the French Revolution.

De pays en pays

Born in Sweden, Lars Tunbjörk had regularly photographed his country during his life, he worked with a resolutely worldwide perspective.

The Shoppers Republic of China, 2011

While many countries are still reeling from the global financial crisis, China is witnessing a frenzy of consumer spending, encouraged by its government.

An off-beat look at the Deauville G8 Summit, 2011

As part of the Festival of Photography "Planche(s) contact", the city of Deauville has invited Lars Tunbjörk to take a look at the G8 meeting which happened in may 2011.

Really Extreme Makeover, 2010

It’s one thing to renovate a house. It’s quite another to turn a cave — or a water tower or a church — into a home.

Vinter, Sweden, 2008

The photographs in the Vinter series deal with the mental state we enter during the dark period of the year.

Cannes Film Festival, 2007

Cannes film festival is often remembered with conventionnal pictures : a red carpet, some stars...

Fashion week in Paris, 2004-2006

In 2004, following an order from the newspaper Libération, Lars Tunbjörk immortalized Paris Fashion Week.

Dom Alla (Tous ceux) 2000-2003

The photographer Lars Tunbjörk and the author Goran Odbratt had visited several times Swedish social places.

Home, Sweden, 2001

Swedish housing plot. An artificial and sterilized empty place which is starting to be disturbing.

Office,1988-1999

Offices in New York, Tokyo, Stockholm, are the place of a life that people lose while earning it, they are unbearable.

Sweden, 1995

During his lifetime, Lars Tunbjörk has drawn an acidic portrait of contemporary life in Sweden, his home country. 

Paris, 1989

Série | In his Parisian series, Lars Tunbjörk explores Paris 200 years after the French Revolution.

InterviewS


Lars Tunbjörk, Beyond Backstage 

« VUʼ à Paris » is a collective project of a contemporary glance of VUʼ Photographers inviting to a new perception of todayʼs Paris.  This vision is an opportunity to highlight the details of a modern city, unique, cosmopilite with an international dimension.

The directors of La Fémis complete these photographic points of view, and offer us an original perception of the photographer and his approach, sometimes piercing some of his mysteries.

Two years ago, the “Libération” newspaper asked the Swedish photographer to “cover” in colour, the well-known cat walks of the “Ville Lumière”, backstage.

THE way-out detail, screeching, caught on the borderline where “criticism, humour and sadness blend”.  Lars Tunbjork accepted.  Quite unexpectedly, he had pleasure doing it.  He had interrupted his work on “the winter state of mind in Sweden” to go back to it.

“Fashion is like walking round a crazy theatre”, he says.  “For me it’s just as strange as going round taking photos of an African tribe.  But at the same time, every part of this “milieu”, from the goods on display in the supermarket to stupid games on T.V. is far from me yet on my way”.

Film directed by Pierre Maïllis Laval (© Agence Vu et la Femis)

Exhibitions


Bureaux Fantômes

Kanal – Centre Pompidou, Bruxelles, Belgique

23/01/19 – 30/06/19

I Love Boras, Office, Vinter

Galerie Château d’Eau, Toulouse, France

January 17, 2013 to March 17, 2013

I Love Boras

Festival ImageSingulières, Sète, France

From 13 to 30 May 2010

books


Home

Steidl / Hasselblad Center - 2003

Home

Steidl / Hasselblad Center - 2003

Home

Steidl / Hasselblad Center - 2003

Awards


World Press Photo – 1st Prize, category “Arts & Entertainment, stories” (Netherlands)

For the Fashion Week in Paris

2005

Great Prize – Festival Terre Image of Biarritz (France)

2003

Festival PhotoEspana – Best Photography Book Award (Spain)

For the book “Home”

2003

Swedish Photographer of the Year
 (Sweden)

1982