Saturn Return
Saturn orbits the sun every 29.5 years. In modern Western astrology, Saturn is called the “Taskmaster”. Some people believe that as the planet returns to the same constellation it once was at their birth, it brings darker times. During these dark times, Hans recalls not being able to connect with the outside world. He could not see the world the same way he used to before. All of his senses were amplified to the point where even the softest touch to his face was uncomfortably intense. Other times the artist felt pure emptiness. Situations in which he would usually thrive he observed indifferently. The artist’s only goal was to get better but at that point, he had no idea what was going on. At age of 28, Hans burnt out completely and for the first time in his life, he experienced depression and anxiety.

Stories are very important to humans. Our reality is almost entirely constructed by them. Stories help people to cope with complex issues by simplifying them into neat narratives. “Frozen Man” is a character that Hans based on a stranger who died of hypothermia and whom he decided to photograph at the Central Subway Station in Oslo. The artist captured the man’s neat haircut and immaculate suit as he was staring into the void surrounded by plain concrete. He seemed small, and in his gaze, Hans saw his own personal crisis unfolding. Whilst encountering depression and anxiety, photography turned out to be more than just a hobby for Hans. The photograph of ‘Frozen Man’ essentially inspired the artist to produce his latest project Saturn Return in which he revisits his emotional burnout and explores his own problems with anxiety and depression. Saturn Return is a story of what the photographer found. He always trusted that everything will be OK. That trust in the world, and in himself dissolved in the overwhelming tides of his personal burnout.

Hans Jørgen Ro is a photographer born and raised in Oslo, Norway. He has gained a new perspective on photography though studies at Bilder Nordic School of Photography.


Hans Jørgen Ro (NO) "Saturn Return" - Helphoto 2020
Hans Jørgen Ro (NO) "Saturn Return" - Helphoto 2020