Artist: Jan van IJken
Lambda Pearl print, 22x40cm, edition of 15.
Jan van IJken (1965) is a photographer and filmmaker from the Netherlands, fascinated by nature, biology and microscopy. He published 3 fotobooks and produced 5 short films.
Jan van IJken is self-taught and is working mainly autonomously on long-term projects. As a photographer, he developed a strong eye for natural light, composition and detail. His work is more and more about art and science.
His recent films about starling murmurations and the beginning of life have been selected and awarded by numerous international film festivals. After online publications on National Geographic and Aeon, the films went ‘viral’ on the internet.
His photo-project Precious Animals was assigned by Rijksmuseum / NRC Handelsblad for the series Document The Netherlands, with an exhibition in Huis Marseille Amsterdam in 2006. The series was published in numerous international magazines and newspapers.
THE SECRET WORLD OF PLANKTON
Jan van IJken: “I am fascinated by the tiny organisms in the waters everywhere around us, invisible to the naked eye.
These free-drifting creatures are of incredible beauty, looking almost alien-like. Their complexity and variety of forms can only be discovered by a microscope. Very few people are aware of this hidden world of beauty.
Plankton is also vital for all life. Phytoplankton produces around 50% of all oxygen on earth by photosynthesis (like plants and trees do). Zooplankton forms the basis of the food chain in our oceans and freshwater. Plankton is also playing an essential role in the global carbon cycle.
The series is a work in progress. At the moment, I am also producing a short film about plankton”.