A lot of my work starts out as a personal project but then transforms into an assignment. Of course with most of my projects shown on this website, I have felt this connection to my own interests. Some projects however, are done solely with my personal curiosity, passion and believes as the breeding ground of the project. To me, these are the projects that have me lose sight of who I am completely. They make me become one with whatever is happing around me.
Mastery of friendship
The husband of a friend of mine is studying ancient eastern martial arts. When I asked him if I could photograph him and the mastery that he possesses, he suggested I would go with him to his country of birth: Korea. There I would meet his best friend since 30 years, who is now a monk in the Sinheungsa Temple. They try to meet every year either in Korea or in The Netherlands and then they walk and talk, drink tea and they fight. They fight as the ancient art of Sibpalki was what brought them together in the first place. As I thought I was creating a story on martial art, I finally captured a story of true friendship.
Every year one of our national radio stations, organises a big event during Christmas in order to raise money for a specific goal chosen by the Red Cross. In 2014 that event was in my hometown and the goal was for “women and girls that are sexually assaulted in conflict areas”. I was asked to organise an exhibition of work that was related to the subject. As I also wanted to raise money, but didn’t think people would by a photo with this subject, I decided to figure out another way. I organised a benefit night with special chefs that I knew from a previous project. The exhibition and the dinner were spectacular.
My muse… India
Most times, a muse comes in the form of a person. In my case I’d have to say it’s a country. It’s one of the very few countries I can honestly miss. I can feel homesick, when I haven’t been there for a while. The rawness of life, the friendly people, the amazing colours and contrasts, the brilliant food… I could go on and on.
In 2011 my first photo book was released. I had started shooting Michelin starred chefs about a year before and - as I was fascinated by their passionate way of working, I decided to create a book where I portrayed all of the Michelin starred chefs in The Netherlands at that time. A dream coming true.