Klaus Thymann, Biography

Danish born Klaus Thymann is a multi award-winning photographer, filmmaker, explorer, writer, creative director and environmental consultant. He has developed an original viewpoint working across a wide range of subjects and media, utilising a cross-disciplinary skill-set combining journalism, image making, mapping, documentary and exploration with a focus on contemporary issues and climate emergency. Delivering original content and installations across multiple platforms for Institutions, brands, NGOs and media.

Age fourteen Thymann started working as a photographer photographing tourists in Copenhagen for the Canal Tour, and worked for publications as a writer and photographer during his teenage years. In 1996 he was the youngest ever winner of the Scandinavian Kodak Gold Award, in 2013 he won the Sony World Photography Award.

In 1997 he co-founded a magazine, Virus, a biannual publication with in-depth features. Virus was first to uncover Echelon (the popular name to describe a signal intelligence system capable of interception communication content). The feature ultimately led to an investigation by a committee of the European Parliament with a report published in 2001.

From 2004 to 2008 a significant body of work is Hybrids was produced when Thymann mapped peculiar hybrid cultures around the planet, such as Snow Polo in St. Mortiz, Gay Rodeo in LA, Underwater Striptease in Chile, Underground Gardening in Tokyo.

In 2008 he founded Project Pressure – visualizing climate crisis. The charity is collaborating with world-renowned artists creating and exhibiting work to engage emotions in order to incite positive behavioural change. Project Pressure has pioneered innovative new technological developments and forged partnerships with World Glacier Monitoring Service, NASA and others. In 2011 Project Pressure was recognized as an official contributor to GTN-G (Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers). Further recognition and funding has come from prestigious beneficiaries including The Queen of Denmark, Arts Council England and the Swiss Environmental Ministry. His devotion and passion for the environment led him to complete a BSc in Environmental Studies.

2019 saw the launch of MELTDOWN – a Visualization of climate crisis by Project Pressure, a travelling museum show. Thymann orchestrated VOICES FOR THE FUTURE – text and audio from six young activists projected and transmitted on the UN building in New York in the lead up to the UN Climate Action Summit. Thymann authored the messages including an authorised edit of Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg words.

Throughout his practice, Thymann reveals a deeply held interest in the act of exploring and mapping – both in a physical sense and in a more conceptual manner. He has conducted the only scuba dive of the world’s clearest lake in New Zealand, documented tourism in Iraq, parkour in Gaza, the relocation of the Arctic town Kiruna and explored the glaciers of Uganda and Congo via new trekking routes. He is continuously launching expeditions and has led teams to mountains on six continents summiting peeks above 6300m. Thymann is currently cave diving underwater rivers on the Yucatan in Mexico, he created a documentary film of this form of environmental exploration, Flows. Flows has music by Thom Yorke. The follow up – Flows, It’s all Connected was released in 2019. A 2020 expedition discovered an abundance of soft corals in Danish waters never methodically studied.

Thymann has been featured by BBC, CNN, NPR, Wired, The Guardian, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Vice, Creative Review, Discovery Channel and others, has created global work for brands like Nike, Sony and Johnnie Walker. He regularly contributes to CNN, The Guardian, New York Times, Wired and others.

    Collaborations with Institutions, Charities and NGOs (selected)

Amigos de Sian Ka’an, Design and Artists Copyright Society, Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, Glacier Trust, Global Ocean Trust, Hayward Gallery London, Homeless World Cup, Lighthouse Foundation, London Cycling Campaign, NASA, Red Cross, Teenage Cancer Trust, UNICEF, United Nations, University of Florida, Wildlife Trust, Women for Women, World Glacier Monitoring Service, World Health Organization

    Lectures at (selected)

Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, Oxford University, The Photographers’ Gallery, University of Brighton, University of Roma, University of Cancun

    Collaborations with Publications and Broadcast (selected)

Avaunt, AnOther Magazine, BBC, Bloomberg Business Week, British Journal of Photography, CNN, Danish Broadcast, Dazed & Confused, Details, EXIT, Financial Times, GQ, i-D, Lensculture, L’Officiel Hommes, National Geographic, New York Times, NPR, Nowness, Monocle, Outside, POP, Rolling Stones, Royal Photographic Society Journal, The Fader, The Guardian, The Observer, Vice, V Magazine, Vman, Wired

    Collaborations with Brands (selected)

Adidas, Asics, Audi, BMW Motorcycles, Bjorn Borg, Bogner, Canon, Carlsberg, Casio, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Dr Martens, Evian, Ellesse, Fjallräven, Garnier, Gatorade, Google, Jaguar, Johnny Walker, Lenovo, Levi’s, Norse Projects, Orgreen, Playstation, Powerade, Ray Ban, Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Sony, Speedo, Selfridges, Target T-Mobile, Umbro, Vodafone, Westin Hotels & Resorts


    Klaus Thymann, CV

Born in Copenhagen in 1974

2015 BSc (Hons) in Environmental Studies, Open University, UK
2014 Wilderness Medical Training, Courses for Explorers “Far From Help”
2013 4×4 Land Rover Defender “MudMaster”
2012 Full Member (experienced mountaineer) Alpine Club
1993 Graduate Marie Kruse Gymnasium (college), Denmark
Advanced multistage Cave Diver, Normoxic Trimix, Advanced Nitrox, Self Sufficient Diver and Side Mount with IANTD, Dry suit with PADI

Career Profile

2021-current Advisory board of Better Blue
2020-current Advisory board of Danish School of Media and Journalism
2020-current Hasselblad Ambassador
2011-2019 Appointed Board Member of Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)
2008-current: Director Project Pressure

Distinctions, Awards and Grants
2019 Shortlisted for Landskrona Fotofestival Prize
2019 Shortlisted for Welcome Photography Prize
2018 Honourable mention, Danish Press Photo of the Year
2016 Selected as original artist for London Creative Network (LCN), a London-wide development
program for creative practitioners with a focus on innovative technologies or
processes. Funded by EU European Development Fund & Arts Council England
2016 Nominated for Prix Pictet 2017
2016 Winner Photo District News, The Great Outdoors Underwater category
2016 Shortlisted Royal Photographic Society RPS International Print Competition 159
2016 Shortlisted for Red Bull Illume
2015 Shortlisted for Arts Council England supported neo:artprize2015
2014 Winner Photo District News, 2014 Photo Annual
2013 Winner Sony World Photography Award: Fashion & Beauty Photographer of the Year
2013 Shortlisted for ‘Inntravel Award’ at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
2013 Production support Hasselblad
2012 Winning Entry Editorial Category Creative Review Photo Annual
2012 Getty Images Creative Grants for Project Pressure
2011 Grant awarded by the Queen of Denmark for Project Pressure
2011 Arts Council England, grant for Project Pressure
2011 Danish Arts Council, production grant for Christiania
2011 Winner Timed to Perfection competition hosted by Wired
2010 Danish Arts Council, production grant
2010 Gold Award finalist, Campaign Photo Award for Project Pressure
2010 Winner D&AD, best use of photography (Contributing to EXIT Magazine AW09)
2008 Merit at Fujifilm Distinctions Awards 2008
2008 Winner of production grant for a short film sponsored by Sony Playstation
2008 In book for Orgreen campaign at the Association of Photographers Awards
2008 Winner Best Out-Door Danish Advertising Awards for Coca Cola
2006 Selected for ’New Photographers’ at International Advertising Festival in Cannes
2003 Winner of Best Photographer at the Danish Advertising Awards
2002 Winner of Clio Silver Award for Nikewomen.com
2002 Shortlisted at Cannes Lion Advertising Festival
2000 Winner of Best Music Video at the Danish Grammy Awards
1999 Nominated for Best Music Video at the Danish Grammy Awards
1998 Winner of Music Photo of the Year, a prize of Danish Musicians Society
1997 Winner Bronze Cannes Lion at International Advertising Festival in Cannes
1996 Youngest ever winner of the Scandinavian Kodak Gold Award


Solo Exhibitions & Art Interventions
2019 VOICES FOR THE FUTURE, projection onto the UN building in New York
2015 Timezone at The Supermarket, New York
2015 Timezone at The Supermarket, New York
2010 ‘Klaus Thymann for i-D’ at BBlessing, New York
2008 HYBRIDS, Exposure, London
2007 HYBRIDS book launch and solo exhibition at DreamBag Jaguar shoes, London
2007 HYBRIDS book launch and solo exhibition at V1 Gallery, Copenhagen
2007 HYBRIDS book launch and solo exhibition at Wild Project, New York
2006 ‘I can’t see what you are saying’ at B&B Premium in conjunction with ArtMBassy, Berlin
2006 no.one Gallery, London
2005 Fast Forwad on Pause r-s-v-p Gallery, Munich
2004 ‘Because my phone is not a camera’ at Viaux Gallery, Hamburg

Group Exhibitions
2021 Mountains, Stimultana, Strasbourg
2020 Project Pressure at Landskrona Fotofestival
2020 ‘Living the City’, Tempelhof, Berlin
2020 Kiruna Forever, ArkDes, Stockholm
2020 Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today, Design Museum Denmark
2019 MELTDOWN at The Horniman Museum and Gardens, London
2019 WARNING SIGNS at Alt +1000 with Musée des beaux-arts, Le Locle
2019 MELTDOWN at Natural History Museum, Vienna
2018 ‘When Records Melt’ at Museum of Unseen, Amsterdam
2018 ‘Vanishing Glaciers’ at Museum of Climate Change, Hong Kong
2014 Uncertain States at The Mile End Art Pavilion, London
2015 NEO Artprize 2015 Finalist, Bolton
2015 Nordic House Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
2014 ‘125 Live’ at Londonnewcastle, London
2013 House of Arts, part of National Cultural Centre, Bratislava
2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London
2012 Featured artist in Contemporary Art Society Leap! Gala
2011 Menonsyne selected for The-Event at Grand Union, Birmingham
2011 Menonsyne public screening at Big Screen Project, New York
2011 CITIES: visionary places at Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles
2011 After the crash at Orto Botanico UNESCO heritage site (with catalogue), Rome
2010 Copenhagen Photofestival, large prints installed in public spaces, Copenhagen
2010 ‘Haiti FOTORELIEF’ at Milk Gallery, New York
2009 Museum Centro Arti Visive Pescheria, Pesaro, Italy – ‘Mnenosyne’, video installation and prints
2009 Seven Star Gallery, Berlin
2007 Group show at Paul Smith’s Space Gallery, Tokyo
2004 Onedotzero at Institute of Contemporary Art, London

Lectures and Panels
2020 ‘Symposium on Visualising Climate Change’ College of Communication, University of the Arts London
2019 ‘The journey to MELTDOWN’ Natural History Museum, Vienna
2019 ‘How to make your passions pay’ University of Brighton
2018 ‘City to Nature ‘ Workshops for Fjällräven (Stockholm) in Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Oslo
2018 ‘Using art to communicate Climate Change’ at Chinese University Hong Kong
2017 Talk sponsored by Sony at WEX Travel and Adventure Photography show
2016 Explaining environmental issues through craft at Mother London, part of DA&D Festival London
2015 Documenting Extreme Environments, private VIP talk and Q&A at Casio, New York
2015 Talk at Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival
2014 Lecture at 125Live Story Telling in Image Making, London
2014 V-1 Gallery Talk (presenting Project Pressure)
2014 Lecture at COST Mapping, the convergence of art and science, Ancona
2013 Panellist at World Creators Summit, Washington
2013 Key note speaker at healthy options for a warming planet (presenting Project Pressure), Cannes
2013 Panellist PhotoTALK, World Photo, London
2013 Speaker at ‘Rise Above’, McCann Health hosted event, Tokyo
2013 Lecture at Oxford University (presenting Project Pressure)
2013 Speaker at ‘Furore III’, talking about storytelling, Munich
2011 Lecture at Sapenzia, University of Rome
2011 Panellist at World Copyright Summit, Brussels
2011 Keynote speaker ‘Extreme Island Exploration’ by Klaus Thymann hosted by i-D Magazine and Diesel
2011 Panellist ‘Artists’ Futures’ chaired by Paul Hobson, Director Contemporary Art Society
2010 Artist talk hosted by British Journal of Photography and The Photographers’ Gallery
2008 Lecture at Central St. Martins
2007 Lecture at Central St. Martins
1997 Keynote speaker ‘Danish Advertising Now’ hosted by Creative Circle
1994-1997 Annual workshop at Kolding School of Design

‘Glaciers The Politics of Ice ‘by Jorge Daniel Taillant (Oxford University Press, 2015)
Victor (Hasselblad, 2014)
‘Sony World Photography Awards 2013’ (WPO, 2013)
‘Inventory of Norwegian Glaciers’, (NVE, 2012)
‘The European Project Immersion in Scientific Words Through Arts’ (ISWA, 2011)
‘50 top contemporary fashion photographers’ (DAAB, 2009)
‘Association of Photographers Awards’ book (AoP, 2008)
‘HYBRIDS by Klaus Thymann’ introductory drawings by David Shrigley (SQUASH’EM, 2007)
‘New Face of Portraiture’ (IdN, 2007)
‘History of Danish Photography’ (Kunstbogklubben, 2004)
‘Modeleksikon’ (Politiken 2002)

Pro Bono and Charitable Work
2019 Directing Flows – It’s all Connected (13 min) with the Lighthouse Foundation and multiple NGOs
2017 Directing Flows (52 m.) working with the Lighthouse Foundation and multiple NGOs
2016 Donated edition print to the Alzheimers Society
2015 Writing, directing film for The Wildlife Trust, England
2013 Writing, directing and photographing a campaign for Ruas e Pracas, with Brazil street kids
2013 Photo lecture in aid of Women for Women, helping women survivors of war
2013 Directing short film for London Cycling Campaign
2011 Donating edition print for charity auction benefitting Japan Rising
2010 Donating edition print for charity auction benefiting ROSE Charities
2009 Creating images for use by London Cycling Campaign
2009 Donating edition print for charity auction benefiting Teenage Cancer Trust
2006 Directing a short documentary film for The Homeless World Cup
2005 Donating edition print for charity auction benefiting Tsunami Fotorelief
2004 Special assignment for Dazed & Confused publishing to benefit Cancer Research UK
2002 In Kenya directing a TVC for The World Health Organization and UNICEF
1999 Print information campaign for Red Cross