Eyes of the World

101 students

My studio is located on the ground floor of a student complex. Every year more than 30 new short stay students from all over the world come to live here and during this stay they have served as a model for this project. After one school year they all have to move out and most of them go back to their home country.

Eyes of the World is a portrait series of 101 foreign students. I’ve photographed only their eyes and combined them with the written names of the subjects. It is a combination of the Western expression “The eyes as mirrors of the soul” with the Chinese saying that you can read someones character by their handwriting. I’ve photographed eyes because I think that therein lies the diversity of the world.

Cyanotype is not only a simple technique, but it also allows me to let chance play a part and thus undermine my perfectionism. Each print is unique due to the brush strokes, paper type and thickness to which the chemical solution is applied. The original photo is given another meaning by the brushstrokes and the blue color. Both the eyes are various as the prints. In this project I emphasize the beauty of diversity of the written language. This project is a combination of my passions; photography, painting and typography.

Each student has been given a printout to take home, and thus my work has spread all around the world. The memory of the experience here in the Netherlands creates an emotional bond for these young people with the work of art.



Cyanotype on watercolor paper


101 pieces 12 x 26 cm