"In photography, JH Engstrom isn't trying to explain, but rather to render a profound experience of the absurdity of the human condition. These images moves us into a disquieting part of ourselves: our solitude on earth."
That is how Jean-Louis Godefroid ends his foreword to JH Engström's book, the result of two scholarship sojourns at the Contretype photo organization i Brussels. The book consists of 29 triptychs of a snapshot character, sandwiched by diary reflections and 29 photos harbouring those characteristics that have turned JH Engström into one of the most revered Swedish photographers.
In Foam photo magazine, Nan Goldin wrote: “JH Engström is never an easy read. I usually have a facility for perceiving a photographer's intentions through viewing the work, but with JH it's about learning a new language. The intensity of each moment one experiences with him is seductive, inspiring – and he's always struggling to be more alive. He hovers, restless, questioning, circling ... The genius of this project lies in the juxtaposition of his displacement, his unease in the normal environment he finds so banal and the comfort and familiarity he feels in the tedium of bar life.”