"When I photograph, I try to use my instincts as much as possible. It is when pictures are unconsidered and irrational that they come to life; that they evolve from showing to being"

- Jacob Aue Sobol

b. 1976


Based in Copenhagen, Denmark


Available for commissions
& assignments

Jacob Aue Sobol was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1976. He lived in Canada from 1994-95 and Greenland from 2000-2002. In Spring 2006 he moved to Tokyo, living there 18 months before returning to Denmark in August 2008. After studying at the European Film College, Jacob was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed.

In the autumn of 1999, he went to live in the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the East Coast of Greenland. Over the next three years, he lived mainly in this township with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family, living the life of a fisherman and hunter but also photographing. The resultant book Sabine was published in 2004, and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

In the summer of 2005, Jacob traveled with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned by himself to the mountains of Guatemala where he met the indigenous family Gomez-Brito. He stayed with them for a month to tell the story of their everyday life. The series won the First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006.

In 2006 he moved to Tokyo and during the next two years, he created the images from his recent book I, Tokyo. The book was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008 and published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain) and Peliti Associati (Italy).

In 2008, Jacob started working in Bangkok and Copenhagen.


1998-00 Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art Photography

1997-98 The European Film College


2008 Leica European Publishers’ Award for I, Tokyo

2008 Fogtdals Fotopriser Award

2006 World Press Photo 1st prize, Daily Life Stories

2005 Nominated, Deutche Börse Photography Prize

Solo Exhibitions

2012 Arrivals and Departures, c/o Berlin, Germany

2011 Stories, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

2011 I, Tokyo / Sabine, Rita Castelotte Gallery, Madrid, Spain

2011 I, Tokyo, Phototeket, Esbjerg, Denmark

2010 I, Tokyo & Sabine, Yossi Milo Gallery, NY, USA

2009 I, Tokyo, Rencontre D’ Arles, Arles, Frankrig

2008 I Tokyo, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark

2007 Sabine, Silo Gallery, Porto, Portugal

2007 Sabine, Month of Photography, Krakow, Poland

2007 Sabine, Gallery Sztuki, Konin, Poland

2006 Sabine, Yours Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

2006 Sabine, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK

2004 Sabine, Superdanish, Festival of Danish Art, Toronto, Canada

2004 Sabine, Frederiks Bastion, Copenhagen, Denmark

2003 Tiniteqilaaq – The strait that runs dry at low tide Filosoffen, Odense Phototriennale,


Group Exhibitions

2011 Faces of our time, University of Michigan Museum of Modern Art

2011 Faces of our time, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

2011 Minor Cropping May Occur, Lombard-Fried Project, New York

2009 Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, Mexico

2008 Unseen, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China

2008 Discovery of Fotofest 2006, Fotofest, Houston, USA

2007 One shot each, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark

2007 Contemporary Danish Photography, Fotofest, Houston, USA

2006 Closed Eyes, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark

2006 37 seconds, The BBC big screen, the Liverpool Biennial/The BBC, Liverpool

2006 World Mental Health Day, Frederiksberg rådhus, Copenhagen, Denmark

2005 Contemporary Danish Photography, Faulconer Galleri, Grinnell, Iowa, USA

2005 Frispark, Galleri Spark, Copenhagen, Denmark

2003 Charlottenborg forårsudstilling, Copenhagen, Denmark

2003 Odense photo triennale, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark

2001 Greenland in pictures, The National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen

2000 Sons and lovers, Galleri Bossky, Copenhagen, Denmark

1999 Fatamorgana anniversary exhibition, Øksne-hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark


Museet For Fotokunst (Museum of Photographic Art) Odense, Denmark.

Det Nationale Fotomuseum (The Royal Library National Collection of Photography)

Statens Kunstfond (The National Arts Foundation), Copenhagen, Denmark


2008 I, Tokyo, Dewi Lewis Publishing

2004 Sabine, Politikens Forlag A/S


2004 Rejsen, 12min, short film, photographer, Cotzal, Guatemala

1998 Take the A-train, 22 min. short film, director, Copenhagen, Denmark

Read More

Selected works


Sabine: A Love Story

Jacob Aue Sobol

Jacob Aue Sobol's book reveals a candid account of his intimate relationship with girlfriend Sabine and their life together on the east coast of Greenland

Open story
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