Katharina Hesse is a Beijing-based photographer who has worked throughout Asia for nearly two decades. Her work primarily focuses on China’s social concerns, among them youth and urban culture, religion, and North Korean refugees. Ms. Hesse has traveled on assignment to Indonesia, Mongolia, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea and the Philippines. Ms Hesse is fluent in Chinese, English, French and German.

Ms. Hesse began her work in Asia as an assistant for German television (ZDF). In 1996, she started working in Newsweek’s Beijing bureau and subsequently participated in numerous cover projects. In 2003 she moved to Getty Images. She has been freelancing for the past 6 years and her work has been featured in various publications including: Burn, Courrier International, Courrier Japon, Der Spiegel, D della Repubblica, e-photoreview.com, EYEmazing, FT Magazine, Zeit Magazin, Glamour (Germany), IO Donna, Die Zeit, Marie-Claire, Le Monde, Le Monde Diplomatique, Manager Magazin ( Germany) , Neon, Ode Pez, 100Eyes.org, Reporters Without Borders ( yearbook 2010, Germany), Stern, TIME Asia, Vanity Fair ( Italy & Germany) and Wired (Italy).

Last Updated: May 2, 2014



Portraits of the Faceless

Katharina Hesse & David M. Barreda
Nine years ago, photographer Katharina Hesse began to make portraits of North Korean defectors. To protect their identities she asked only that they “give something” of themselves to the photographs. Her subjects bury their faces in their hands, or...