Nomadic artist

Johannes “Jonig” Hönig
From Jena
2 years in Hamburg


You look like a wild guy! What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?

A couple years back, I wanted to take pictures of the sunrise from a volcano on Java. Equipped with a tent, I passed a sign telling me to stop, and that continuing the path would be very dangerous. But I didn’t think a lot about it, and hurried along since I wanted to reach the top of the mountain next to the volcano before it turned dark. Unfortunately, the only way to the top was blocked by fern and other brushwood. Thinking I still had some time left, I decided to walk around the crater and return to the basecamp where I originally came from. Of course, I got lost. Suddenly it turned darker and darker, I was surrounded by a field that looked like the moon and very thick fog was in every direction. I could either spend the night in the jungle or in the sulfur near the crater. The jungle turned alive after it got dark and was filled with spiders, panthers – you name it. I found a small rock overhang, set up my tent and spent a night full of nightmares about falling down because the area was very steep. The next morning, I started to carefully examine my surroundings and tried to find a way back. I had to choose between going through a narrow gap which looked like it would collapse above my head, or climbing a 5 meter high slope. I tried the slope first. As it turns out, sandstone is not really ideal for learning how to climb. After I had almost reached the end, the sandstone broke and I slid the whole back to the ground. Bleeding, covered in sulfur and very disappointed I took my last chance and went through the gap with may backpack over my head so I would at least have some protection against the potential stone hail. Well – eventually I reached a path and returned to the basecamp. And the morale of the story is: always follow instructions on signs!


Wow, that sounds crazy! Have you actually always been an artist?

I never considered myself to be only an artist. I love to reinvent myself again and again. In a way, life is an artwork.


Okay, cool. So where can we see your art for ourselves?

Actually, I have an exhibition coming up in the area of Oberhafen in Halle 4 where I show my work of the past year. There is an old, dark factory hall, where light spots will illuminate my paintings in order let the visitor focus on my art without any distractions. I am also very happy that the opening will include a performance by GLITCH AG on the theme of the exhibition “UND WAS IST DANN?” Just come by for the opening on Friday, April 7th from 7:00 p.m.!

Photo credit: Johannes Hönig

Find him at Facebook  @Jonig


What’s your favourite place in Hamburg to see art?

I like to sit in the U-Bahn and discover street art next to the tracks or just enjoy the drawings that are coming out of our figure drawing group in the Hongkongstraße.

Where do you go in Hamburg to chill out?

There is a bench far out of Hamburg. This peaceful place close to Wedel beautifully overlooks the river Elbe and gives me a timeless brake in the rush of our time.

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