This Saturday I had the privilege to open my own exhibition at Gallery Olivijn, which is part of Michelin starred restaurant Olivijn. Instead of putting on large prints on display, this time I decided to use smaller prints. But…. a lot of them. In total there’s a bit over 130 images on display, from different stories. Some older, some more new and all of them printed on a thick matte paper, nailed to the wall with thin pins.
I can’t describe properly how it feels to have all your images physically in your hand, instead of on the screen of your computer. And having people actually standing in front of them - wether it’s short or for a long time - is very different from seeing the statistics of your website visits or your instagram likes.
All in all… a good weekend.
Photos: Tessa van der Staal en Saskia van der Wal-Post
From when I was a little boy all the way up to when I was 20, I played the drums. I still play them now, as a hobby, for fun and a bit for exercise. As a kid, every year I visited a huge drum event, starring the greatest drummers and the newest innovations on drums. One of these great drummers was Steve Gadd. My hero. I didn’t have posters of Michael Jackson or Madonna, I was a real fan of Steve Gadd.
Now, 30 years later, I was suddenly able to meet him. Face to face. I even got to photograph him, while he was recording at the Wisseloord studio’s in Hilversum with Hermine Deurloo. Looking at this - now 73 year old - legend at work was truly special.
I would have seen you this weekend before, during and after your second operation. But this morning I was heartbroken to hear you didn't make it because of sudden complications. It saddens me even more to know your father didn't make it on time to properly say goodbye. It comforts me personally to imagine that you are free now... free of uncertainty, free of pain and free of hospital visits... you are free to leave this often ugly world behind and move on to where or whatever is next. To use the words of your doctor: This world lost a great human and a pure soul.
Going to Ukraine, Nepal, South Korea... creating human interest stories for organisations, foundations or as autonomous work, it's what I do, what I like and what I feel comfortable with. But I also love to get out of that comfort zone.
The rest of July and all of August, over 120 photos are exhibited at the Leica store in Amsterdam. 12 stories, the oldest dating back to 2012 give an impression of what I have been doing the last couple of years.
The past week I have been working on creating a story for KIOCH: The Kathmandu Institute of Child Health. This initiative is the vision - the dream - of one of the most famous heart surgeons in the country; Prof Dr Bhagawan Koirala.
From the 25th of May, bureaucracy has found a new high. We now have to state and document that we are actually nice people who are doing the best they can to use the data they gather - which comes automatically when working with other people - will be used with care and respect.
Two young Korean men were students of the same master in Sibpalki, a Korean martial art, when they became friends. Thirty years later, each having their own different life, they are still best friends.
This month I'm joining Jacqueline Govaert on her brief tour of 7 sold out gigs all over the country. Something totally different from what I'm used to, though it's not the regular stage photography for which I've joined the tour.
For the Breath foundation, I will be traveling to the Ukraine several times in 2018, visiting some of the families that are benefiting of the work this foundation does. It is my aim, to capture their lives, their struggles, their hope and their pleasure.
After some time off - after coming back from a long journey - I'm planning some new projects. One of the things I strongly believe in is storytelling and therefor I'm experimenting with new ways of doing just that.
Three foundations - War Child Holland, Unicef and Safe the children - are working together on a project called Team Up in which they provide regular, structured and fun activities for refugee children.
During this week I'm following 3 families up close and personal. Today moved me deeply. I had the privilege to follow Soenita and her father for the day. Soenita is a five year old girl who is raised solely by her sixty-one year old father....