Nature is within us

Ten works of art of the series „Nature is within us“ presented here will are on permanent exhibition at Gauting Town Hall (Munich area).

What is outside is no longer outside. Trees, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes. Michael Nguyen has transformed these elements in his artworks into feelings, fantasies and dreams. They become part of our inner nature, part of the human soul.

Through the subjective lens, Michael Nguyen gives all a new perspectives, a new soul. "Michael Nguyen's photography is the art of showing more than you can see. Making visible - worshipping the invisible, he walks with the third eye of a wanderer through the visual adventure of life.

His works does not reflect reality but are the interpretation of a moment. In his art photography, the work is often created by making changes to the original photograph in image editing programs, where the creativity of the artist knows no bounds.

In my Photographic Paintings from my series "Nature is within us"  I work out a distinctive aesthetic effect of my pictures. Most of the motifs are outside, in daylight. Among my most popular motifs here are landscapes, riversides, forests. In the seasons autumn and spring I find the most popular moods for me. Characteristic for my pictures of this portfolio are blurred, blurred contours, sometimes scattered light and often the renunciation of the reproduction of details, similar in style to a painting.

This pictures taken in and around Gauting and in the Starnberg district - Gauting is a city in the Upper Bavarian administrative district of Starnberg and lies southwest of Munich on the river Würm.

The artist expresses his sincere thanks to the Gauting company Ratzefummel, through whose financial support the exhibition could be realized.

The Town Hall Gauting becomes a gallery

Ten works of art of the series „Nature is within us“ presented here are on permanent exhibition at Gauting town hall (Munich area), Bahnhofstrasse 7, D-82131 Gauting

The first mayor, Dr. Brigitte Kössinger, writes in her welcoming address to the exhibition: "Are these paintings? Are they photos? No, the pictures you see here are both. This is wonderful photo art, which above all offers completely new perspectives on your old or new home Gauting. From simple brick walls, some of them grow individual insights into our community and the district. I am pleased that the artist and photographer Michael Nguyen has given us some of his works here as a permanent exhibition, bringing life and colorful joy to our hallways. Thank you for that. To visitors to City Hall, I wish you a stimulating view from the waiting area. Take advantage of the time and be inspired.”

Mill Wheel

The river Würm and its hydropower have always been important location factors for Gauting. Reismühle, Grubmühle, another former mill on today's Münchner Strasse, the power station on the main square, the wood grinders upstream bear witness to this. The mill wheel on the Lederersteg (here in the picture), on the other hand, turns by its own will, or as a representative of the Gautinger mill wheels of local history. These are no longer in use as a means of propulsion/production. But to do justice to the municipal coat of arms, there should already be a mill-wheel turning in the Würm in Gauting, and here it is.

Text Bernd Wiedemann

Family walk

Who does not feel reminded of a painting by the impressionists Monet or Caillebotte in this photo by Michael Nguyen? The comparison is not so far-fetched: after the construction of the Munich-Starnberg railroad line in 1854, more and more city dwellers came to the romantic and charming Würm Valley for a cure or summer retreat, to relax and enjoy the enchanting landscape. Industry and companies also took advantage of the benefits of the location. Artists came with their daughters and wives, and they painted, drew portraits, taught, and indulged in all kinds of cultural activities. The villa colony of the Wilhelminian era thus brought the upper-middle-class cultural life to the craftsmen and farmers' village. Freethinkers such as the eccentric Theodor von Hallberg-Broich (the "Hermit of Gauting") or filmmaker Herbert Achternbusch found and still find a home in Gauting, at least temporarily. This explains the partly special "Gauting feeling" from the mixture of old-established, established cultural business and a touch of Bavarian anarchism...

Text Bernd Wiedemann

Where the Emperor is born

... in the Gauting rice mill, according to the legend. There is no proof of this. However, some place and field names in the immediate vicinity may be connected with the origin of Charlemagne, such as the Karlsburg a few kilometers upstream of the Würm or the deserted historic Königswiesen, of which only St. Ulrich Chapel remains today. The Gauting coat of arms, whose mill wheel, emperor's coat, and crown on the tower of the rice mill shine far across the field, cannot be taken to imply the truth of the legend of Charlemagne: It was designed in the 1930s with reference to the Karlssage, the tower was built even later. Whether the name "Reismühle" originates from a phonetic variation of "Reichsmühle" or simply means "the mill in the middle of the brushwood" also remains disputed. On old representations of the mill, there is no shortage of bushes and shrubs in the surrounding area. Even without Charlemagne, the Reismühle remains a charismatic place whose beginnings are lost in the darkness of history. Located between prehistoric and Roman cemeteries, directly on the old Roman road, the Reismühlel today houses artists' studios, a boat workshop, and a fitness studio. Enough reasons for a visit...

Text Bernd Wiedemann

Lights will guide you home

Some of the photo-paintings in this exhibition were taken during the first lockdown in spring 2020, in a special atmosphere on partly empty streets. “What will become?” was and is the question.

Under special circumstances, sometimes the view opens, and with it the understanding of what is seen. Everyday things, which otherwise receive no attention, emerge symbolically, and seemingly meaningful. It has always been before our eyes, and we did not see it, our head full of thoughts. The picture shows the road from Buchendorf to Gauting.

Text Bernd Wiedemann

„My friend the tree is dead“

For a long time, the old oak tree was a prominent landmark south of SC Gauting, branching out like lightning. Even further south, at the edge of the field on the "Hiesenwiese", there were mounds of graves. Over time, the constant farming has razed them to the ground. Shortly after the picture was taken, the tree was felled for safety reasons.

Text Bernd Wiedemann

13th June 1886: Ludwig's mysterious death

"I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others..." (Ludwig II Otto Friedrich Wilhelm von Wittelsbach)

Under mysterious circumstances, King Ludwig II of Bavaria died on June 13, 1886, in shallow water near Berg on Lake Starnberg. The official version of "death by drowning" is doubted by many, especially since His Majesty was a skilled swimmer. To this day, royalty, also known as Guglmänner, are struggling to reconstruct the facts. They are certain: it was murder, and the "Kini" (The diminutive version of König - King) is by no means insane. Whatever the case may be. The fairy-tale king is widely revered, soon one hundred and fifty years after his passing away. His commitment to building castles, which was severely criticized at the time, now brings the Free State annual revenues in the tens of millions. In terms of history and landscape morphology, Gauting cannot be separated from the Würmsee and the surrounding area. A large number of sights can be explored on foot or by bicycle. Many only at second, third, or even fourth glance.

Text Bernd Wiedemann


The Reismühler field, ancient Gautinger cultural soil. The evening clouds gather over the historical Königswiesen: "Village desolation of the high and late Middle Ages as well as the abandoned Hofmarkschloss of the early modern times with its associated farm (Schloss Königswiesen").

To our right, just outside the picture: "Tumulus of prehistoric times as well as a cremation cemetery, inhumations and road of the Roman Empire (part of the Kempten-Gauting route). Straight ahead, about three hundred meters behind in the tree population: "Settlement of the Latène period as well as burial sites for burnt offerings of the Latène period and the Roman Imperial period.

Of all this, only the old Roman road can be imagined as a flat dam running across the field. People have lived in and around Gauting since prehistoric times. What did they find, what did they leave behind? Quotes: State Office for the Preservation of Monuments

Text Bernd Wiedemann

The Absence

In 1347, Fußberg Castle was first mentioned in a document. The Knights of Fuß initially administered it as ministerial officials of the House of Wittelsbach. The castle and the surrounding park were rebuilt several times by different owners and now enjoy a mixed-use: the gastronomy in the faithfully reconstructed Salettl offers food and drink to the Gautingers, the small Schweizerhäusl on the upper edge of the park is a workshop for artists and goldsmiths. During the summer months, the Remise (pictured here) offers a varied program of concerts and art exhibitions. Marriages and child baptisms were celebrated under the large weeping willow tree in the lowlands, and at a summer festival, a child was demonstrably conceived. The castle itself is rented out to a communications agency, so it is hardly accessible to the citizens of Gauting. The castle pond also fell into private hands, which put an abrupt end to the popular ice skating and curling in winter. The castle does not reveal a secret: a tower is said to have stood in the park, the foundations of which have not been found to this day.

Text Bernd Wiedemann

The expulsion of ghosts

Epiphany shooting on Keltenschanze sky

On 6 January, the Raunächte (the rough nights), the "time between the years", ends. According to oral tradition, the wild hunt and other night ghosts are supposed to do their mischief in this time. They are sent back to the Epiphany with prayers and barking back into their borders.

The Late Iron Age Keltenschanze near Buchendorf is one of the best-preserved Celtic square jumps in Bavaria. The original purpose of the complex has not been fully clarified. Investigations indicate a possible dual use as a profane and sacred area. Between the Celtic entrenchment and the Buchendorf pond, the route of the Roman road runs eastwards towards Salzburg. Neolithic finds and Bronze Age settlement traces on the Buchendorf field prove a long use of the area. Historians suspect that not all Roman roads were new constructions, but that existing older long-distance trade routes were also expanded.

Text Bernd Wiedemann

In the darkest hours

Spruce protection in the forest of the Upper Taxet between Gauting and Buchendorf. Please do not enter such wild quiet areas and keep one’s dog on a leash in the forest. Who moves silently on forest paths leading through such forest areas may observe deer, hares, and birds at dawn or dusk that dare to leave their cover.

We should not put too much strain on the recreational area forest, which we urgently need. The Würm valley is formed by unique glacial terrain formations, communities worthy of protection, and many ground monuments, which are often difficult to recognize as such. Consideration in the forest also protects people: Wild boars hide their young in the undergrowth. Normally they avoid humans. However, if it comes between Frischling and mother-sow...

The work of art was awarded several times in 2020. Among others at the Sienna Creative Photo Awards, awarded in the category "Nature & Landscape". At the MIFA - Moscow International Photo Awards, it took third place and received the bronze medal in the category "Nature / Trees". At the TIFA Tokyo International Photo Awards 2020 with Honorable Mention.

Text Bernd Wiedemann

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