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Press Club Polska
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Projekt współfinansowany przez Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego w ramach programu ‘Edukacja kulturalna’

Adam Bujak


Adam Bujak is one of the most popular Polish photographers. He has published more than 80 books, albums, and photo calendars. They are mostly impressive tour albums, presenting Polish landscapes, monuments, and urban landscapes. He works in cooperation with publishing house „Biały Kruk”. He worked for „Tygodnik Powszechny” and „Telewizji Kraków” for many years.

The most important part of the Bujak’s work remain reportage photographs of the Roman Catholic Church’s life. Since about 1960, when Bujak had his first contact with the environment of Malopolska’s clergy. He was the author of the first photographs of cardinals Karol Wojtyla and Stefan Wyszynski. He had also photographed all of the pilgrimages of John Paul II to his homeland, as well as the important religious ceremonies and places of worship.

Bujak describes his work as „a message, through which I would like to introduce to people the Holy Father’s teachings. I would like to tell them what is the most valuable in the world’s culture” (Quoted for H.M. Giza). Bujak’s work is linked to the history of Poland and history of the Catholic Church. He photographed places like Grunwald, Lednica, monastic treasuries, Wawel, Wieliczka. Usually, he combines different photographic genres, remaining in the mainstream press photography: from portrait, through landscape to reportage of the events. In photographic journalism, he puts special emphasis on the composition of the work and dedication or highlighting the event that he photographs. As a deeply religious man, with a vast knowledge in the domain of history, he penetrated the world of clergy with the ability to present its character in the image. Over the years, he photographed everyday life in monasteries, places and rituals unavailable to the regular worshippers. Examples include reports from Bielany and Bieniszew, where in addition to general views, Bujak spies on important events of the monks’ lives.

His photographs of the religious celebrations are marked with the balance between portraying the celebrants and worshippers. In the „Misteria” series, he combines the moments of seriousness with light – hearted, almost playful scenes.

Bujak’s interests are rooted in the concept of John Bulhak’s „homeland photography”. Bujak is the follower of that idea, implementing it in a very timely manner. His life’s work is a photographic atlas of Poland, which main elements remain primarily Polish history, its monuments and faith. Bujak performed his work in other regions of the world, but usually subjected works’ series on the religious interests. These include the Holy Land, Russia, Assisi, Lourdes.

Another important trend in the Bujak’s works is the landscape photography. In this form of photography, he continues the traditions that have its origins in the painting. Cityscapes – views of the city, the panoramas photographed under the clear sky and good visibility are compiled with nocturnes – evening views of the city’s fragments.

Adam Bujak is known primarily for his color photography. He obviously also went through the stage of black and white photography. In the beginning, they were performed with medium format cameras, that were composed in squares. Examples include reports of „Misteria” and „Cyganie”. In time, he began to photograph with the 135 film camera and his work took on a more reportorial nature. Usually, he tries to be close to the people that he takes the photos of, moving the pictures’ viewer and recipient almost in the center of the events.

Numerous times he has collaborated with the leading cultural activists, among others: Andrzej Wajda, Wislawa Szymborska and other photographers, among others: Arturo Mari, Ryszard Rzepecki. He is the author of two important individual exhibitions „Misteria” and „Polacy”, which were presented in Poland and abroad. Since 1967 he has been associated with the Union of Polish Artistic Photographers. In 2005 he was awarded with the Silver Gloria Artis Medal.