Stephan Köhler was born in Hamburg in 1959 and now lives and works between Benin, West Africa and Hamburg. He studied at Cooper Union, New York and Vienna University of Applied Arts and he is currently doing a Masters in cultural sciences in Germany.
He currently serves as chairman of the associations Kulturforum Süd-Nord for cultural exchange and for Regard Benin for realising international events of contemporary art. He is one of the three curators of the current Biennial Regard Benin 2012.
Stephan began to organise events and curate exhibitions in 1986 starting with Stealing Diamonds Venice. In 1991 he curated Rain is Heaven on Earth Tokyo, floating 1001 Japanese umbrellas on the Imperial Moat to welcome Christo’s umbrella project, and in 2010 he curated Running does not help in Benin for the first edition of the Biennial Regard Benin.
Stephan worked from 1996 to 2006 as curator at large for the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art. He curated the first Roman Opalka exhibition in Japan 1997, then the thematic exhibition In Bed in 2004 and many other projects. He also served as advisor and researcher for acquisitions.
He has worked with artists doing camera-based art since curating exhibitions, including Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin, George Osodi, Francois Xavier Gbré, Michael Lange and many others.