Born in Zürich/Switzerland, January 18th
Footprint of the 4 years old
Entering primary school at the age of 6.
Medical diagnosis: hereditary red-green colour blindness; looking at drawings, meadows and leaves of trees are brown, trunks green or all mixed up. Vocational counsellor’s advice in my adolescence: not suitable for a goldsmith’s apprenticeship. Consequently, my colour blindness was kept a secret until the end of the 1980th while developing strategies to cope.
Later, a vocational counsellor considers an apprenticeship as a goldsmith out of the question. From that moment on, I keep it a secret until the end of the 1980s and develop strategies to cope.
4. Sept. 1958
Pages from a 6th grade composition notebook. Class composition. After Sixth Grade. After sixth grade I might go to boarding school in Schwyz. There I will go to junior high school. I am very fond of stones. For this reason I would like to become a goldsmith. I have a rock collection at home. Maybe afterwards I will go into an apprenticeship with a goldsmith. I also like antiques.
At twelve years of age, I lost my father, who died of a heart attack at seventy-four. My father Georg Walter Schobinger (born Oct. 1884 at the city of Lucern) worked as a textile merchant until the last day to enable me to study at university.
18 Dec. 1958
Receiving a reprimanding letter at Christmas, addressed to my mother by the pastor and the teacher of religion, denouncing her son’s lack of discipline.
1959 – 1962
Entering the Catholic Boarding School “Mariahilf” in Schwyz (Switzerland). After three years, leaving the school prematurely for wanting to change to the Arts and Crafts School in Zurich, the Prefect of the Catholic school warned me of the moral and ethical depravity that I would encounter at that school. However, the opposite proved to be true; my new teachers were of profound kindness without exceptions. (Teachers: Hans Aeschbach, Louis Conne, Emil Mehr, Walter Binder, Jörg Hamburger, Max Aeppli.)
Reprimanding letter from the school’s Prefect concerning the student’s reading unaccepted literature, nonconforming to Catholic standards and ethics.
Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich (School of Applied Arts and Crafts) and admission to the Johannes Itten preliminary course, reading Kandinsky’s writing, including “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”. Attending concerts at the auditorium of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Edmond De Stoutz, listening and analysing works by Alban Berg, Arnold Schönberg and Anton Webern.
Beginning of a four-year goldsmith’s apprenticeship in the centre of Zurich Oetenbachgasse 5, 5th floor
Opened my own goldsmithing workshop with a gallery for contemporary art in Richterswil.
Meeting my future wife, Annelies Strba, at a Jazz club in Richterswil, attending a concert by the legendary blues pianist “Champion” Jack Dupree.
Journey with Annelies to Ireland as a result of reading Ulysses.
Marriage with Annelies Oct. 1969 in the old town of Rapperswil
Birth of our daughter Sonja
Birth of our son Samuel
“International Diamond Award” (New York NY) The jury of the competition’s composition included Max Bill, who defended my entry with verve, as he told me by telephone, after the award ceremony. This was my first personal contact with Max Bill, followed by sporadic invitations to his new house in Zumikon. It was at one of these friendly meetings, when Bill’s wife, Binja Bill, presented me with a rare cactus (Ribsalis theres), which I still treasure to this day. Furthermore, the Bills presented our daughter Sonja with a humongous Easter bunny.
May1973: Visits Richard Paul Lohse in his studio in Zurich. I show him my latest works, which are committed to a strict constructivist-concrete idea, including the series of variable “Multirings”. Lohse is astounded and enthusiastic about what I show him, spontaneously picks up the phone and talks urgently to the film pioneer Ernst A. Heiniger, unknown to me at the time, who was apparently finishing a book project on jewellery (The Great Book of Jewels). Heiniger subsequently summoned me to his flat on Bahnhofplatz in Zurich to inspect the work himself. Although the editorial deadline for the publication had already passed, he decided to photograph the “Multirings” in his studio and thus close the chapter on modernity. Lohse gives me an original graphic with a personal dedication as a farewell gift.
Birth of our daughter Linda
Encounter with Franz Eggenschwiler (1930-2000) a Bernese graphic artist, object artist and sculptor. Marking the beginning of a productive two-year collaboration.
Zürich, London, NYC, Berlin. Attended concerts, punk, new wave, Neue Deutsche Welle. Meets Blixa Bargeld in the “Dschungel”. 1980 Twice attended the opera “Lulu” by Alban Berg at the Zurich Opera House.
Takeover of a dilapidated art nouveau villa in Melide on Lake Lugano as an alternative second home. Work on the extension and conversion in the sense of “life and work as a “gesamtkunstwerk”(total work of art). While digging in the forest, accidentally comes across a landfill and finds fragments of old wine bottles.
Travels with Annelies to Silesia and Warsaw/Poland
Purchases from Ruppenthal stone-cutting company in Idar-Oberstein/Germany rough stones and semi-finished products. This material is used to create a first group of works with a completely new aesthetic orientation.
Annelies portrays our daughter Sonja, who is wearing my new work. Of these, 62 photographs were published in the book “B.S.” “Devon-Carbon-Perm”, self-published.
Travels in East Germany, the former DDR.
Exhibition Annelies Strba / Bernhard Schobinger, Grassi Museum Leipzig, 1.9.-1.12.1991.
1.9. – 1.12. 1991
Dorothea Prühl, lecturer at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle a/S, comes to the exhibition with her students. I guide them through the show and explain the works.
First travel to Japan with Annelies. Here show in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Met Mr. Takahiko Mizuno President of Hiko Mizuno College Tokyo and Osaka, Prof. Kazuhiro Ito and Prof. Kimiaki Kageyama. Travels to Kamakura, Kanazawa, Izumo Taisha, Hiroshima, Miyazaki (Kyushu).