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Born in England in 1972, Rip Hopkins studied industrial design at ENSCI (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle) in Paris. Working with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) he has made photoreportages and documentaries in numerous countries including South Sudan, Bosnia, Liberia, Uganda, Ingushetia, and East Timor.
He joined Agence VU in 1996 and the following year received the Mosaïque Scholarship, the Kodak Young Photo-Reporter Award, the Observer Hodge Award and the Monographies Prize. In 2000, he was awarded the Fondation Hachette Scholarship to pursue his photographic work in Tajikistan. This led to his receiving the 2002 Fondation HSBC Award and the publication of Tajikistan Weaving (Actes Sud Editions). His book Displaced (Textuel Editions 2004) was produced with the support of the FIACRE Scholarship.
Hopkins started photography when he was ten years old. It is his way of recording and documenting moments of his life and those of others. He sees photography as a tool presenting vast possibilities for intellectual and aesthetic expression.
He combines his personal art work with the necessity of making a living, thus drawing on various means of support such as exhibitions, books, press work and films. This produces an on-going cycle: if a person sees a photograph then they know that it exists, so they can buy it, so the photographer can produce work and survive. So what is a photographer exactly? Ethnographer, artist, advertiser, teacher, crook, journalist, artistic director? Few professions are so diverse and so vague.
A photographer is constantly confronted with questions such as: what is an image today? How long will it survive? How should it be made? Who wants it? What technique should be used? Should there be a point of view or a stand point? With each new project Rip asks himself these questions again and re-evaluates his role in today’s world.
Rip Hopkins is a member of Agence Vu and is represented by Galerie Le Réverbère and by LT2.