Pieter Bas Bouwman (b. 1990, Port Chester, New York) moved to the Netherlands at a young age, where he spent the rest of his childhood in The Hague. After high school, photography became a big part of his life, especially when working at a game reserve in South Africa where he photographed wildlife. By May 2016, he had successfully completed his degree in Photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam with his work IMPRINT at the exhibition Unframed 2016. Shortly after, he got selected for the GUP Magazine Photography Talent issue of 2017 and the Olympus Young Talent Award 2017.
A central theme often explored in Pieter Bas Bouwman’s work is the relationship and the (im)balance between nature and humans. This often appears in his photographs of imprisoned animals, destroyed and decayed buildings, or any other traces of human intervention in nature. This strongly relates to the transience and fleeting character of things; of life itself, the passage of time, of man-made structures and of nature and the world itself, that is slowly disappearing due to human intervention. This transience and fleetingness is visually translated by a blurriness that suggests rapid movement and dynamics. This often goes together with a certain nostalgic and melancholic feeling for that which is lost, and for that which will be lost eventually.
His images are slowly and carefully composed. He attentively considers compositions, colours and shapes, while trusting his intuition. However, although his images are seemingly perfect, they never fully are. To Pieter Bas, beauty is to be found in the imperfection. This could mean in the image itself, by treating the negative with chemicals and creating a blurred or grainy effect. Or, beauty could be found in the imperfection of the hidden message underneath the superficial layers of the visual image. To him, there is always an idea behind his photographs, even though he often only realises afterwards.
For Pieter Bas, photography is a safe haven, a means to express himself, to communicate and to find some peace. By putting his work out there, he would like to take you as a viewer on a visual journey through his self discovery, development and his quest for a certain state of calmness in the storm of everyday life. With his work, he hopes to convey this feeling and to take the viewer outside of the everyday madness of the outside world, if only for a brief moment.