Fokion Zissiadis was born in Thessaloniki in 1956. He studied architecture at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and continued his studies with a master’s 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 well-known Sani Resort in Chalkidiki and Vice President of Sani S.A. After liquidating his business at the end of 2015, he 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 passion for the natural world and love for 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, Iceland, Greenland, and Vietnam. A travelling, photographic adventure in Morocco has been unfolding since early 2019, in tandem with the project on African Wildlife. 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” took place at The Benaki Museum, Athens, during the period 17 October – 17 November 2019.
His first personal publication entitled “ICELAND” was materialized by teNeues in 2016, while his second one, entitled “VIETNAM”, was published in 2020 by Rizzoli. With Rizzoli, another promising collaboration is already in the making, this time focusing on Greenland, the outcome of which will come to fruition in 2022.