Wunschhaus I series of  color photographs I 60*40 cm I 2012 –

The photographs of the Wunschhaus Project show seemingly abandoned buildings in Eastern Germany from the last decade. The buildings are empty or seem to be empty, time already shows some of it`s remarks. A transition started, although nothing seem to happen – Wunschhaus is situated in a state of Waiting, Desires and Expectations of a Non Visible.

My work on Wunschhaus started years ago in the countryside of Eastern Germany and is growing since then into different chapters on houses we dream about. This is not always a good thing – as in dreams not only things appear we positively admire.

My deep interest for many years now is in empty and abandoned houses, left by their inhabitants for many different reasons. Death is just one of them – a very strong one, because knowing that fact about an empty house changes our perception and gives meaning to everything in a different way.

What I am interested in, is the state of transformation- a house which is not in use anymore has a lot of fragmented memory and a  lot of artefacts which tells you are story of its former use – not the real story – for that , too many things are gone to fulfill the puzzle. And that is not the idea at all ! In the intermediate state lives a promise of future, a spatial possibility of a coming use. It is not there yet but perceptable.

In Wunschhaus houses are still open to imagination in a way that no one can say whether they will change in to something new or rotten slowly or just disappear by a tear down. I see a great potential in those buildings or places.


Y.R. I series of 12 color photographs I 60*40 cm I Kyoto 2016

My project Y.R. shows spatial artefacts of the self organized life in the famous and legendary student house Yoshida Ryo in Kyoto. The Adoption of common space and Usage of it as collective spaces need a commonly agreed life. The non written Rules of this life underlay and determine use of the building and its many rooms. This project closes the circle of adopted spaces, which starts in the build structures and objects of „Shacks“ and result in the accuracy of daily life structures in a dense and seemingly chaotic use of space in Yoshida Ryo.



built natures  I series of 16 color photographs  I  60*40 cm  I  2017

The work of built natures / gebaute Bilder von Natur Japan/ Germany 2016 deals with the relationship between built environments and nature, in places where autonomous images of build natures occur / uprise.


Shacks  I series of about 30 color photographs I 60*40 cm  I  2017

The informal, probably not even legal, self built structures at the inshore landscape next to the beach, with its strong organized private areas of lined – up beachhouses, which all look alike, a self – organized group of about 25 sculptural objects by anonymous builders extends along the inshore, a part of the coast which is in fact dedicated to flood protection.

These sculptural objects are, after a closer look, shacks of different sizes, functions and shapes. Additionally to the shacks there are also boat ramps for small private boats, sculptures and „handicapped sticks“ which are set carefully to handle the unsurmountable rocks of the dyke. All seem to be part of a kind of „secret“ village on public property.

The shacks are built either on the dyke or on the groynes, using the piled stones and rocks as foundation. They are all built of stranded goods as wooden trunks, bottles, all kind of small wood pieces and sponges; and joined together with ropes and fishing nets. To complete the pictures of sustainability the roofs are covered with reed, which is planted on the dunes behind the dyke. Found objects from the beach, leftovers from last season like old parasols and deckchairs, become parts of the shacks.

The variety of shapes and the visual and spatial power of the shacks were attracting not only my eyes. My deep interest is in researching the usage of space and it always becomes most interesting, when space is used in a unseen, non routined, „unusual“ way.

This village of shacks shows its functions in many layers. First the position of the shacks on groynes and the dyke show the different use of the tides for swimmers, fishermen, sunbathers and others. The sun- and wind protection is readable from the shaping of the roofs, which become walls on some of the shacks. In smaller scale one can find built-in furniture like chairs, benches, seating areas, loungers, and a lot of useful features like hooks for foodbags or jackets and clotheslines for the towels. Besides that you find shacks with a desk to write or work towards the sea, chest of drawers, cabinets, possibilities to make barbecues, picknicks, a broom to leave the place clean, some instruction signs from user to user, a „thankyou“ – letter to the builder…

The shacks on the dyke also function as bridges to overcome the dyke: they have small stairs or ramps, to reach the sea. All of them are partially temporary because not all parts stands the storms of the winter and will be renewed, fixed and fresh colored in the next spring.

This project was developed during my Artist in Residency at the Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani.


Homestories I I  series of  color photographs I 40*20 cm  I  2015

  Homestories II I  series of  color photographs I 40*20 cm  I  2015

Homestories is probably the most personal project, since it shows homes, abandoned by it`s inhabitants for different reasons. There are leftovers like clothes, furnitures, personal belongings – not all of them, but some artifacts of a persons life. In Sarahs House everything left is connected to the house, like the doorframes, the cleaned fireplace, the pool with dust on the water…  In Luisas House it seems, she just left for walk and will come back soon, but she is not. These left apartments and houses show a material heritage of people; all kinds of imprints leave their homes as incomplete pictures.



sweetness restored  I series of 30 color photographs I 50*40 cm I

My series sweetness restored was taken at the island of Mazzorbo and thematises the aging of the housing by italian architect Giancarlo di Carlo. Aging is understood a process of slow invisible transformation of a building. The series of photographs visualizes an abrasion by the daily use: as beautiful, scary, sad and everyday events, wind, sun, people leaving traces and many more. A potential already glimpses through: of becoming something new.






all images © Kay Fingerle 1999 – 2018      .       back to start