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Into The Light – Between Heaven and Earth, Between Light and Darkness by Tom Jacobi is the second book in the trilogy that started with Grey Matter(s). These breathtaking images capture detailed landscapes in white.
In this work, Tom Jacobi draws us into the light through his use of white, creating surreally luminous landscapes that are at once stark and ethereal.
About The Into The Light Project
For Into The Light, Tom Jacobi traveled to seven continents over a period of two years, photographing breathtaking landscapes that unfold a timeless power and offer space for contemplation.
His photographs celebrate the white in an impressive way: Monumental, magical, as the opposite of dark, as light against nothing and chaos.
In Tom Jacobi's Own Words
I began to work on my trilogy Awakening in 2014. Part One of the trilogy is the work Grey Matter(s), which symbolises, by means of a reduction to an almost colourless world, the way man emerged from the darkness. Grey Matter(s) was first presented as an exhibition in 2016. The accompanying book – also published by Hirmer – soon became a bestseller.
What you see here is Part Two of the trilogy. The photographs for Into the Light illustrate the way that we – coming out of the darkness – strive towards the light. For nearly two years, I travelled back and forth across the world, searching once more for archaic landscapes which either dominate by virtue of their light or open up to the light in unique moments. Gazing upwards towards the sun fills us with the brightest of all colours: White.
Exploring Existentialism Through Light And Landscape
For Tom Jacobi, the religious and historical uses of white anchor these images in the human experience. The color white is an integral part of human history, religions, worldviews, and nature. White is symbolic of mourning, death and renewal, pilgrimage, sacrifice, and purity.
In ancient Egypt, white was the color of joy. The ancient Romans called someone who was always lucky “a child of the white hen”. In Buddhism, the white lotus blossom is the symbol of enlightenment. The Bible pronounces – “Let there be Light”. In our more recent history, we've come to see white as a symbol of modernity and simplicity.
In physics, color is light with a specific wavelength – white contains all wavelengths of visible light, it is, therefore, every color, but not one.
In Tom Jacobi's words – “White is the opposite of black, of nothingness, of the chaos which awaits regulation through the light of enlightenment.”
We Can't Wait For The Final In the Awakening Trilogy
As Tom notes about the trilogy – “[w]ith this knowledge of the power of the colour white, I went in search of landscapes which reveal a timeless strength. When viewing the pictures of Grey Matter(s), our gaze will generally turn inwards. The brightness of the pictures of Into the Light, by contrast, are meant to encourage us to look to the future. Dark grey and bright white: both these achromatic colours that provide endless opportunities for contemplation.
So, if you are wondering what the third and final part of the trilogy will be, the title has already been decided: The Light Within. The work continues my reduction to the essentials and illustrates the fact that we bear this light within us. I hope you will remain favourably disposed towards me and my work in the future.
About Tom Jacobi
Tom Jacobi began his career in 1976 in the genre of portrait photography, focusing on portraits of leading German politicians, including Willy Brandt, Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl. In 1977 he moved to “Stern”, for whom he worked as a photographer until 1986. He created a total of 29 covers for the magazine and won numerous awards for his formative work.
In the following 14 years, Tom Jacobi worked as a freelance photographer for magazines such as “Vogue”, “Amica” and “The New Yorker” and created fashion and advertising campaigns. In 2000 he returned to “Stern” magazine as Art Director and member of the editorial board. His exhibition “Where God Resides”, which was completed in the same year, was presented internationally, among others at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg. The photo book of the same name quickly became a bestseller.
In 2005, Tom founded the magazine “View”, for which he was editor-in-chief until 2008. Since then Tom Jacobi has been realising his own photographic art projects.
Into The Light – Between Heaven and Earth, Between Light and Darkness
Tom's new book Into The Light was released last month.
If you like Tom's work and would like to follow his work or look at more of his work, you can find them in the links below