Artist statement

self-portrait
Self-portrait 2019, graphite on paper, 50x60cm

Hi, my name is Eric Kampherbeek (born in 1979 in Enschede, The Netherlands) and I’m a visual artist based in Den Haag in The Netherlands. After starting an education in modern dance in Amsterdam in 1998 I made a switch to photography. I basically taught myself how to be a photographer and I started taking portrait assignments for several magazines and organisations in early 2000 and continued doing so ever since. (portraits through the years)

In 2009 I began to work for a newspaper about the homeless in my hometown. I discovered that the storytelling side of photography is really inspiring. Via my photographs I brought the problems of the homeless forward and showed that homelessness is still a major problem in our society. Together with journalist Jeroen Stam I followed homeless Steef in his quest for a own house (Steef), with Elke Swart I worked on a book about a shelter for the homeless in Den Haag (Kessler Stichting). In another cooperation I worked with artist Geert Limburg from Rotterdam on an art project Less@home where we build living rooms in the public space. (project Less@home)

In 2011 I continued making photographic documentaries abroad. I made stories about the Libyan revolution (Let it be spring) and the independence of South Sudan (Free at last).

When I turned 30, I started to show more interest in my personal background. Of course I always knew I am of Indo-Dutch descent, but I always took it as a simple fact of life. It was never an issue. But then, in 2011, I went to Indonesia for the first time in my life and discovered a whole new world. Part of my family lives in Indonesia and through them I felt I became part of their world. I instantly had a strong connection with the country, the culture and the people. 

I have a great interest in Indonesian daily life and my Indonesia stories are always related to that. Indonesia has been a Dutch colony for 350 years. Which means there still is a strong connection between the two countries. I am particularly interested in the way the two countries deal with their history of colonization. The story about the Great Postroad (Jalan Raya Pos) on Java is an example of how I like to investigate this history. In 2016 I published a book about this project. And the works are still being exhibited (Jalan Raya Pos)

Being a photographer for 20 years made me curious about other visual media as well. I discovered drawing and painting as an art form that I also really enjoy. Currently I’m working on a few studies to see how I use paintings in my storytelling (drawings and paintings).

In a nutshell: I work as a freelance photographer for magazines and other organizations; mainly portraits and sometimes events. Out of my own interest I work on visual stories focusing on Indonesia and the colonial connection with The Netherlands. Lately I’ve been trying to incorporate drawings and paintings into my stories.

Nice to meet you!

Eric

Exhibitions

2019 Nutshuis Den Haag, group, Indo, Indië, Indonesië

2016 Stroom Den Haag, solo, Jalan Raya Pos

2016 De Pauw Wassenaar, group, Jalan Raya Pos

2010 Steadion Den Haag, solo, Hotel Holland

2010 Melkweg galerie Amsterdam, solo, Less@home

Publications

2016 Jalan Raya Pos – Self published – ISBN/EAN 978-90-825555-0-9

2010 Steef – Published by Boeken aan zee – ISBN/EAN 978-90-815590-1-0

2009 Less@home – Published by Boeken aan zee – ISBN/EAN 978-90-815590-2-7

2009 Kessler Stichting – Published by De Nieuwe Haagse – ISBN/EAN 978-94-6010-017-8

My work has been financially supported by:

Dutch Culture, Stroom Den Haag, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten, Stichting Democratie en Media, Fonds 1818, Staedion