Richard Heersmink – THIS SERIES IS CALLED “SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES.” IT PORTRAYS HUMAN LIFE IN CITIES SUCH AS SYDNEY, HONG KONG AND KUALA LUMPUR BY FOCUSSING ON INTERESTING CONFIGURATIONS OF PEOPLE AND USING SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES AS AESTHETIC DEVICES.
I was born in the Netherlands in 1981, moved to Sydney in 2010, and returned to the Netherlands in 2014. I’ve had an interest in photography since I was a teenager, but it really took off when I was living in Sydney. Originally trained as a biologist, I switched to philosophy, finishing my PhD in 2014. Being a philosopher is great for many reasons, one of them is international conference visits, allowing me to travel and photograph cities across the world. In my photographs I try to capture aspects of human culture, either human-made structures such as artifacts, buildings, and skylines or people in urban settings. So I mainly do cityscapes and street photography. In this series, the emphasis is on the latter.
I’m inspired by 20th century Futurism, a form of art engaged with themes such as movement, technology, and industrialized cities. I particularly like how Futurists try to capture movement, something I try to do in my photographs as well. Futurists are great artists, but I’ve no affinity with their social and political values.
I’m also inspired by the documentaries/movies made by Ron Fricke, who made Koyaanisqatsi (1982) and Samsara (2011), amongst others. Fricke’s documentaries tell an exclusively visual narrative of the development of human cultures in a variety of settings. His work is visually stunning and a great source of inspiration.
Recently, I moved back to the Netherlands and have been photographing European cities. I find it more difficult to do street photography in Europe because the cities here are full of historical buildings which are often jam-packed with architectural details. I much prefer simple and clean lines as background, so modern cities are much more appropriate for my style of street photography. So I currently find myself in the process of transforming my style such that it better fits European cities.
Shadows and Silhouettes
Some of the shots in this series are about what Henri Cartier-Bresson called the “decisive moment”. But most of them are concerned with shadows, silhouettes or unusual configurations of people in urban contexts. In my view, this creates an interesting dynamic and illustrates a connection between humans and their environment. [Official Website]
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