Honorable Mention / 2018 / Book (series Only) / People


  • Photographer
    Vanessa van Houten
  • Credit
    Editor: Jane Somerville Designer of the Photobook: Rie Naftali Publisher : Lans Brahmantyo Afterhours Books

here*now, is a photography portrait series about the Inner Beauty
of Indonesians. In a time where many talk about diversity and
difference, Vanessa van Houten was keen to examine what binds
us together. Inside her simple studio in Jakarta, she photographed
over 50 Indonesians – women, men, warias (transsexuals and
transgenders) aged between 20 and 80 years old, which are
passionate chefs and baristas, young entrepreneurs, accomplished
athletes, mothers, fathers, loved social influencers, dancers,
beautiful yogis, makeup artists, sex workers, famous musicians,
popular artists and talented fashion designers. Each person was
photographed twice for an hour; once in their favourite clothes
and once almost bare in a white cloth which was made especially
for this project, by Chitra Subyakto, the creative soul of Indonesian
fashion and textile house Sejauh Mata Memandang. These
sessions, and the photographs, that resulted provide a glimpse
into the lives of the people we are surrounded by.

Vanessa van Houten was born in San Rafael, California, in 1971, and grew up between the United States and Germany, living in Augsburg, the Bahamas, Berlin and San Francisco.
In 1996, after completing a Bachelor of Photography at Polytechnic University in Dortmund, Germany, Vanessa relocated to New York City to study with Jonas Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives. She completed a Bachelor of Filmmaking at The Film Academy (HFF) in Munich, Germany in 2007.
Vanessa van Houten has directed six films, which have screened at international film festivals and won several awards. Paper Bird (2007) also aired nationally on German television and Karma Cowboy (2001) won the Prix Regards Neufs 1st Prize and the Bavarian Documentary Award "The Young Lion" in 2002.

Vanessa’s photographic series include Raw (2016), Suki and the Paperfold (2012), Taboo (2010) and Remembering What’s Lost (2009). Raw was exhibited at HeadOn Photography Festival, Syd-ney, the Goethe Institut Jakarta, and Redbase Foundation, Yogyakarta. The series was also Vanessa’s first fine art photography book published by Afterhours books.
Here*Now (2018) is Vanessa’s second Fine Art Photography book published by Afterhours Books.
Vanessa lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, with her husband, Daniel, and three children; Peppa, Ziggy and Sonny.