An active man with a passion for the natural world and a love of adventure.

Fokion Zissiadis was born in Thessaloniki in 1956. He studied architecture at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and went on to do a Masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia USA, graduating in 1983. His career to date has been in the hotel and tourism sector, continuing the family tradition as a shareholder in the wellknown Sani Resort in Halkidiki and Vice President of Sani S.A. After liquidating his business at the end of 2015, he has been fully committed to exploring the world, and to attributing his trotting experiences on his photographic projects.

He first took an interest in photography - mainly photographing buildings and urban landscapes - during his years as an architecture student. Later it was nature, on a small or large scale, which became his narrative priority, while he gradually developed more personal, interpretative views of the landscapes he sought to capture. His photography expressed a desire to preserve a wide-angle “view through a personal window” on the world around him. An active man with a passion for the natural world and a love of adventure, he planned journeys to particular destinations where nature reveals the primitive building blocks of which she is made, where the great age of the natural landscape is to be seen, where the visitor is challenged to engage fully and completely with the natural world around him.

His photographic work covers a wide range of geological phenomena and diverse terrains: deserts, glaciers, savannahs, jungles, volcanoes, rivers, seas, mountain ranges and uplands. He has visited and photographed locations as varied as Peking, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, the capital cities of Europe, Egypt, Patagonia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, the Bahamas, Israel, Turkey, Malta, Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Iceland, while, more recently, Greenland and Vietnam. A travelling, photographic adventure in Morocco has been unfolding since early 2019, in tandem with the project on African Wild Life. In his travelling diary, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Rwanda are further included.

His photographs use a keen geometrical sense to interpret the quintessence of the landscape with all those features through which the genius loci is expressed. Through his personal photographic idiom, Fokion Zissiadis expresses his own aesthetic sense of moment and place. The dwarfed human figures almost always included in his photographic compositions create a strong sense of the insignificance of man when confronted with the grandeur and majesty of the natural world. On most of his photographic journeys he is accompanied by his lifetime partner and advisor - his wife Mata Tsolozidi-Zissiadis.

His first solo photographic exhibition under the title “Icebergs from Genesis to Extinction” was realized at The Benaki Museum, Athens, during the period 17 October – 17 November, 2019.

A publishing venture of his photographs on Iceland has been materialized by teNeues, while an upcoming edition on Vietnam has been scheduled by Rizzoli, to be published in 2020. With Rizzoli, a fecund collaboration is already in the making, the outcome of which will come to fruition in 2021.  
17 Oct – 17 Nov 2019
Benaki Museum/Pireos 138
Athens, Greece

Visit exhibition website
From Genesis to Extinction

Personal Exhibition
Fokion Zissiadis
Upcoming Personal Publication
VIETNAM: The Paths Less-Travelled
Fokion first emailed me in November 2015. He was planning a trip to photograph Vietnam, he said, and needed our help with logisitics and ideas for locations. He wanted to explore ‘vistas of high photographic interest’, and meant to visit us at different times of year to document Vietnam’s seasons. Looking at his website, I could see he had an eye for wild, almost oppressively vast landscapes of raw nature. In his Iceland panoramas, the lava fields, the ocean, the sky stretch away, only to turn in on themselves, inverting our idea of nature as freedom. But his portfolio also included macro photography, images of nature’s miniature kingdoms, and even something close to documentary, the industrial architecture of Thessaloniki Port. For all the variety, a geometrical precision marked Fokion’s work, and he would use this to expand our sense of space and perspective. I wrote back to him with a proposal for his first trip: Sa Pa, Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam’s far northern frontier.

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Fokion Zissiadis
Personal Publication
This work presents a selection of my photographs of Icelandic nature and its wonders during the summer and winter season. In August 2013 I dedicated 10 days and in March 2014 another 10 days to travelling more than 7.000 kilometres in total, covering almost the whole area of the country. Accompanied by expert Icelandic guides in both trips, I photographed mainly landscapes but also remains of the human civilization captivated by Iceland’s nature, found dotted here and there among those spectacular landscapes. Both itineraries, yielded a harvest of more than 1000 photographs of Iceland in summer – as seen through the mind, eye and soul of a travelling Greek photographer. 
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