Iwan Baan: the photographer
Dutch photographer Iwan Baan is known primarily for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture.
Baan is known for eschewing the traditional approach of shooting buildings in isolation. He says his aim with every shoot is to capture the life both within and surrounding the built environment. “It’s still very much my interest to show what’s happening around these buildings, what people do there and what kind of role these projects have for people” he explained.
For most shoots the photographer rents a helicopter to capture his subject from above. “It’s very important for me to give the larger overview and try to get some distance from the architecture. That really tells you where it is and that it’s not just a building that could be anywhere.”
Iwan started out as a documentary photographer but moved into architecture after a chance meeting with architect Rem Koolhaas He has since become the most sought-after name in architectural photography and spends his life travelling the world to shoot buildings by names such as Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA.”Most people know my photography from the commissioned architecture work but there are also a lot of other places that fascinate me, that show how people are building informally. My work is about looking at all the different aspects of building and the built environment, from the very well-planned cities to what people build themselves out of necessity,” he said.
“It’s continuous travelling,” he said. “When you look on the map, it’s flying back and forth all over the world.”
The new exhibition shows a selection of Baan’s photographs from the last year accompanied by short commentaries: 52 Weeks, 52 Cities is on show at the Marta Hereford gallery in Herford, Germany, until 30 March.