Free tours by Young Collectors Circle

Do you also want to discover innovative artists? On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can participate in the guided tours of Young Collectors Circle -free of charge- at Unseen. Here's a preview.

By: Nadine van den Bosch, Young Collectors Circle

Unseen is characterised by its innovative and progressive range of photography with a large international scope. The fair stimulates experiments and explicitly  offers a podium to emerging talent. For collectors and photography lovers, Unseen is the occasion to see what is going on in the forefront of this art form. This edition, I am particularly looking forward to artists who are stretching the boundaries of the medium of photography, and constantly pushing them further. These pioneers step outside the beaten track of their discipline, creating new techniques, recourses and narratives.


Lungiswa Gqunta (AKINCI Gallery) shows that great meaning can be hidden in everyday actions. In the photograph Gathering 5.11.19 #1, 2019 we see two women who are busy folding a sheet together. The act is insignificant, but the moment itself all the more so. The domestic activity, which in her home country of South Africa is often done together by women of different generations, is the moment in which stories are exchanged and knowledge is transferred. The format of the work refers to a roll of film, emphasising the importance of this moment within the larger story of life. We see the women's arms lifted high into the air, almost as if they cheer: a celebration of the bond that lies behind this seemingly unsignificant gathering. 

Lungiswa Gqunta, Gathering 5.11.19 #1, 2019, AKINCI.

The intriguing photography of Buhlebezwe Siwani (No Man's Art Gallery) is also based on performance. It is therefore not surprising that the artist herself can often be seen in her work: her video work and photography are a stand-in for her body that is not physically present at the time. With great care and attention, Siwani performs her choreography, in which the relationship between ancient rituals and our modern times is an important part. It is not an everyday act but spirituality that is central to her work. 


Jan Hoek (Vriend van Bavink) sees beauty in people who are not normally in the spotlight. Not only does he photograph people who often find themselves on the margins of society, he also shares his success with them. His models the subject of the work, but they also determine, together with Hoek, how they will be portrayed. This extremely sympathetic and democratic way of working transcends good intentions: it results in powerful works in which both the signature of the photographer and the character of the person portrayed emerge clearly. Together with fellow (outsider) artists and designers, he provides his series New ways of framing revolution with a unique, handmade frame. In this way, he transforms the photograph into an object, a kind of monument to the underdog. 

The works of Thibault Brunet (Galerie Binome) do not require a camera. From his project Minecraft Explorer we see different stages of his research in the world of the well-known computer game. With great precision and a scientific approach, he dissects the virtual world. In this digital universe too, every action leads to a reaction and every choice the user makes has a consequence. At Brunet's invitation, experts investigate the Minecraft equivalent of their own field and research is carried out, for example in the fields of oceanography, computer science, botany and archaeology. This project is not only an interesting investigation of digital technology, but also produces exceptionally beautiful images. 


Ilanit Illouz (Galerie Fontana) creates poetic work, in which research and experiment go hand in hand. Her series Stony Light shows Wadi Qelt, a valley near the Dead Sea. Where once water flowed there is now, due to prolonged drought, a landscape of salt. Illouz uses the salt that she found here to fix her prints and at the same time to add a sculptural element. This makes the landscape both the subject and the material of her work. 

Ilanit Illouz, Palm Branch Detail #5, 2020, Galerie Fontana.

Material and subject are also interwoven in the work Silver Creek, by Lucas Leffler (Galerie Intervalle). Leffler is fascinated by a mysterious story about a Belgian photo factory that accidentally dumped tons of silver - in the early 20th century, silver bromide was used to develop negatives - into a nearby river. One of the factory's employees discovered this costly mistake and quickly devised a way to remove the mud from the stream. He took this silver-laden mud to a factory for purification, which earned him over half a ton of silver a year. Leffler visited the place where this story originated and photographed the stream and factory concerned. He also dug up mud from the so-called Silver Creek, hoping to find the precious metal like the lucky finder did a century ago. He then used this mud for developing his own photos, which can now be seen here at Unseen. 

Nadine van den Bosch is co-founder and program manager of Young Collectors Circle - he best way to discover the art world since 2016. Throughout the year, we organize special events in the Netherlands and Belgium for art lovers and starting collectors. During our online and offline programs, we take you behind the scenes, where you meet artists, professionals and collectors, gain inspiration and knowledge and get to know the art world better! You become a member for just €10 per month. Want to know more? Go to

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