26 Apr 2023

Photo exhibition shows Tiny House residents at first hand

NEW HOUSING is the meeting place of the Tiny House community. Photographer Ludolf Dahmen has portrayed part of this community. He is now exhibiting the pictures for the first time - during the Tiny House Festival at Messe Karlsruhe.

A person can be seen from behind. She is looking into the distance. Many trees and her small house can be seen there.
Ludolf Dahmen has visited and portrayed Tiny House residents all over Germany. (Pictures: Ludolf Dahmen)

Whether living alone, as a couple or in a family - Tiny House residents are as different as their houses. Ludolf Dahmen has worked out what distinguishes people who have decided to live in a mini house and where they are similar - in the form of photographs. During NEW HOUSING from 30 June to 2 July, the Cologne artist will exhibit his portraits for the first time.

There is a small house on a green meadow. It has a roof and a glass front. The occupant is standing in the doorway. There are solar panels on the roof of the house.
"The Time Millionaire" with his revolving house, was Dahmen's first Tiny House resident.

"The Time Millionaire"

"There was an action by our professional association some time ago called 'One Day in Germany'. On that day, 500 photographers went out at the same time to take pictures. Through an acquaintance I got the tip to photograph a Tiny House resident," says Dahmen. The story ran under the title "The Time Millionaire". "At first I was interested in a reduced, minimalist lifestyle. But through the story, I ultimately became aware of the topic of Tiny Houses," Dahmen continues.

A man and a woman are sitting on chairs in the middle of a forest. Around them is a lot of green and there are some trees.
Living with nature - that is one aspect of Tiny House life that particularly impresses Dahmen.

The "reduced life in nature" has not let go of the 49-year-old since then. And when the Corona period came and the commissions went, Dahmen took the time he had freed up and started the Tiny House Portraits project.

"The biggest challenge at first was to get hold of people who actually live permanently in the mini houses. The breakthrough ultimately came after a circular email I wrote to friends, colleagues and other people," says the graduate photo designer and photo journalist.

On the road throughout Germany

From then on, Dahmen travelled through North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and also to the Black Forest to visit Tiny House residents. He was one of the most impressed by one particular tiny house: "The occupant is a brilliant mind and tinkerer. His house is six metres high and has a glass front. And the house can rotate. If he wants, he always turns it according to the sun. To think of something like that and build it all by himself was very impressive."

A Tiny House can be seen at night. Lights are burning inside. You can see a dark blue sky above the house.
The portraits appeared in Kleiner Wohnen magazine in a special issue entitled "Inside Out".

The picture of this mini-home builder also graces the cover of the magazine in which Dahmen published his photo reportage. "Actually, I wanted to publish a book. I got in touch with Kleiner-Wohnen magazine and we decided to use my photos to make a special edition of the magazine called 'Inside Out'," the photographer continues.

You can see a Tiny House from inside. A woman with a blue top is standing in the kitchen. Plants are in the foreground.
The photos also show the interior of the mini-houses.

Dahmen also found it exciting to find out how families live in Tiny Houses. He found one such: "The father builds mini houses for a living. He designed one for his family. It is 45 square metres, has two floors and was built on an old showman's trailer. It was interesting to find out how a whole family lives in a small space."

First exhibition

Visitors to NEW HOUSING can find out for themselves how this family, the man with the revolving house and other residents of Tiny Houses across Germany live from 30 June to 2 July at Messe Karlsruhe. "It will be the first time I exhibit the pictures"; says Dahmen. He had not yet found the right place for an exhibition - until now. The photographer himself will probably be on site on the weekend of the festival.

You can view some of the photos HERE. You can find more information about NEW HOUSING at: www.new-housing.de.

Portrait Matthias Jundt
Matthias Jundt
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