Verium believes in entrepreneurship and with Hans-Jörg Zingg we have found an entrepreneur and passionate photographer ready and willing to make his exceptional, stunning photographs available for the Verium homepage. True entrepreneurs are individuals who break the mould, boldly pursue their own goals and stay true to their convictions. Hans-Jörg Zingg is the perfect embodiment of these ideals, which are also reflected in his expressive and powerful photographs.
Hans-Jörg Zingg put his heart and soul into the restaurant business. He runs the restaurant El Paradiso in St. Moritz together with his wife Anja Zingg. Before settling in the Engadin valley in 1998, he migrated from Bern via Zermatt to Zurich, among other places. During these years, he honed his skills in the food service industry, developed new restaurant concepts (including AlpenRock House) and opened up El Presidente, a successful nightspot at the Zurich airport. But Hans-Jörg Zingg is not only a restaurant professional, he is also an artist, as is clearly evident in his photographs and the attractive arrangement of his restaurant focusing on every last detail.
Over the years I came to understand that the restaurant industry and photography have a lot in common and are virtually identical in their execution. From the initial idea to the finished product on the plate or on paper, a wide range of separate elements have to fit together to make it possible to serve or present the desired result in the end. The "Roads to Heaven" pictures are a combination of my two passions.
The photographs illustrate my personal "Roads to Heaven", which for many years have all led to the Engadin valley. This is where my wife Anja and I ultimately reached our goal. We have “come home”, so to speak. Some are pictures of mountain passes leading directly or indirectly to our chosen home, the Engadin valley.
Before I successfully realised my first series of pictures, I met David Osborn, a photographer who introduced me to the secrets of landscape photography and helped me with the technical aspects of this art.
While everyone's personal road through life is different, the laws of life are the same. We all can or could in effect determine the path or the scenic road we wish to take to get to our destination. Naturally, because of origin, "design" and "model year", this principle does not apply equally to everybody and some have to take a longer way or climb a steeper hill than others to achieve the same goal. These "others" occasionally also find an "apparent shortcut" to get to their destination faster. This personal and - to me - vital insight has been on my mind for a very long time. With the "Roads to Heaven" series I am now communicating my view of life in the form of photographs. Each of the three 356s shown in all the pictures symbolises a level of time, present, past or future, and the message is that whatever road we choose, we have to be aware at every moment (present) that the sole reason we are here is that we have successfully navigated the previous section of the road (past). The three red cars also represent the path we will travel to reach the goal we have set for ourselves (future), always assuming, of course, that there are no "unforeseen" obstacles in the way.
When it becomes obvious along the way that the road we chose does not lead to the desired destination, we always have a number of options. Should we continue to the next intersection and then take a different route or should we turn around, go back the familiar way we came to the previous crossroads and then head off in a new direction?
Some of us are in a hurry and some don’t mind taking the risk to cut across country, but in addition to a suitable "design" (robust with strong nerves) this also requires a high level of courage and energy. To express this reality, some of the photos show Porsches travelling in both directions. Which is which - future, present or past - is left to the viewer’s imagination.