I visit Hans Kotter in his studio in Charlottenburg, Berlin where he designs his light installations in a long, spacious room. In the first place Kotter started out as a painter but he realised quickly that he rather wanted to focus on spacial installations. In the beginning he used light as an expedient to photograph and document his works. Once he stumbled across the prism effect, when photographing one of his resin blocks he was immediately fascinated and started to experiment with light instead. Kotter was eager to learn everything about light and how to split it up in its spectral colors. He worked with glowing foil, lightboxes, LEDs, color, reflection, and pretty much everything else you can do with light.
Today Kotter designs mainly sculptural lightboxes, that remind of colorful, graphic objects and that have a very conceptional, playful character. Kotter seems excited about light and explains various technical terms with simple examples while we are talking. He is internationally recognized since about five years by now and is selling his works all over the world. Kotter always wanted to become an artist and moved from his home in Bayern to Berlin to make his dream come true. What lasted was his Bavarian accent and the aim to develop himself. In Berlin he continued to work on his light installations and today, ten years later he is still in the business. His studio is stuffed with wooden boxes, containing his fragile installations, waiting to travel the world. He collects catalogues from exhibitions he is visiting and stores all kinds of tools in different boxes. Kotter is not scared of stagnation or what future will bring. ‘There is plenty of things to do’ he says with a smile on his face.
Text & pictures by Caroline Kurze