In his photo series “Where Children Sleep”, James Mollison shows sleeping places of children from all over the world. He juxtaposes them with portraits of the girls and boys who live in them, from places such as Brazil, China, India, Israel, Mexico, Nepal, Senegal, and the United States. Each pair of pictures is accompanied by a short text that gives an insight into the life of the child. For example, Bilal, the Bedouin shepherd boy, sleeps quite naturally with his father’s herd of goats. Kaya in Tokyo is different. Her room is reminiscent of that of a princess, as her mother spends $1,000 every month on Kaya’s clothes. Hang, on the other hand, shares a dormitory with 20 fellow students at his school for the Chinese martial art of Shaolin, while Ahkôhxet sleeps on the floor of a hut in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
Years ago, Mollison was asked to develop an image concept on the theme of children’s rights. He remembered his own nursery, the proud feeling of having his own kingdom and how much it was shaped by his interests and the culture in which he lived. He also quickly realised how privileged he was compared to other children. Since then, he has tried to meet children on his many travels, to photograph their sleeping places and to hear about their lives. In doing so, he is guided by the desire to enable an encounter with those portrayed and to awaken an interest, especially among children, for the living situation of children in other cultures.
James Mollison was born in Kenya in 1973 and grew up in England. After studying art and design at Oxford Brookes University and film and photography at the Newport School of Art and Design, he moved to Italy. His photographs have been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide, including Colors, The New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Le Monde.
We thank James Mollison and the Flatland Gallery for the great cooperation!
The exhibition “Where Children Sleep” deliberately takes into account both areas of the Edwin Scharff Museum, the art museum and the children’s museum. It also picks up aspects of the current children’s exhibition “Archinature”, which deals with living conditions and living needs. We like to invite you to visit this exhibition in our museum as well.