All images courtesy of Jan Enkelmann. © Jan Enkelmann

In the noisy hustle and bustle of London’s West End, German photographer Jan Enkelmann looks for sanctuaries of calm and contemplation to capture.

For his latest series, Smoking Chefs, he has found them in the quiet back alleys and doorways of Chinatown where kitchen staff take regular breaks from the onslaught of London’s endless throng of hungry tourists.

“As with my other recent work, this is a study of people in public spaces, capturing a particular expression of emotion or state of mind,” Jan explains. He certainly captures a mood of quiet reflection – the smokers lost in their own thoughts, taking a precious moment to unwind.

Smoking Chefs is quite the contrast from his previous work, Serious Conviction, which featured the loud and passionate people gathering at Speakers’ Corner in London’s Hyde Park. In that particular case, he set out to “capture the display of passion and being extrovert”.

Originally from Stuttgart, Germany, Jan Enkelmann has been living and working in London for the last two decades. He divides his time between commercial work and personal projects. Although he loves to photograph public spaces, he doesn’t consider himself to be a street photographer, at least not in the traditional sense: “My work is usually conceptual,” he says.

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

© Jan Enkelmann

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Author:

Tora Baker

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