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BIO (short)


Erik van Cuyk (1968) is an autonomous photographer. He studied Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen and Photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam. His graduation project was exhibited by the international Fotofestival of Arles (FR) and the prominent British Journal of Photography (UK). Van Cuyk's work is featured in publications such as NRC and photography magazines. He has produced multiple photobooks focusing on the theme of 'resilience of people against a backdrop of decay'. His latest book was created in the neighborhoods of South London, known primarily for their high crime rates and social issues.

In addition to photobooks, Van Cuyk also engages in art photography, sometimes dedicating years to a single photograph. His images shows us the magic and beauty of the everyday world.


Erik van Cuyk (1968) is autonoom fotograaf. Hij studeerde Rechten aan de Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen en Fotografie aan de Fotoacademie te Amsterdam. Zijn afstudeerproject werd getoond op het internationale Fotofestival van Arles (FR) en het toonaangevende British Journal of Photography (UK). Van Cuyk publiceert onder meer in NRC en fotografiemagazines. Hij maakte meerdere fotoboeken rondom het thema ‘veerkracht van mensen tegen een decor van verval’. Zijn laatste boek is gemaakt in de wijken van Zuid-Londen die vooral bekend staan vanwege hoge criminaliteitscijfers en sociale problematiek. 

Naast fotoboeken werkt Van Cuyk aan kunstfotografie, waarbij hij soms jaren werkt aan één foto. Zijn beelden tonen ons de magie en het schone van de alledaagse wereld. 


Erik van Cuyk by Maarten verjaarschot (c)

Photo by M.Verbaarschot (c)



2015 - 2018    Photo Academy Amsterdam

1988 - 1992    Dutch and International Law, Nijmegen

Awards & Shortlisted    

2023    Editors Pick LENS CULTURE International Portraits Award


2019    Arnhem Award 'A Good Book 2019', CASA + OPA

2019    ARLES Photofestival Voies Off 2019: 'Emerging European Talents'

2017    100 New Dutch Talent, GUP/NIKON

2016    Selected Photogram, Amsterdam


2024    Museum Valkhof: The Walk – The Mix (duo with Paul den Hollander)

2023    EXPO 'Here I Am', Rozet Arnhem

2022    EXPO 'We Are The City', Rozet Arnhem

2021    International Photofestival Leiden

2021    FotoFestival Naarden

2020    Eindhoven City & Library 'Embrace Freedom'

2020    Rijnwijk book Part of MARTIN PARR COLLECTION Tate Gallery, London

2019    Marrakech Photofestival Voies Off 2019

2019    Book publication UNSEEN Amsterdam 2019

2019    ARLES Photofestival Voies Off 2019

2019    ESPY Photo, Elysium Swansea, Wales (UK)

2019    Expo Museum Hilversum

2019    Expo 'LUCID' Loods 6 Amsterdam

2018    Rotterdam Photo Festival


2024    De Gelderlander, "Stillness on central station"

2024    AT 5, The Culture Machine with Nadine

2024    NRC, 'In South London, birthplace of UK Drill-rap, young people dream of stardom in Nigeria'


2024    Focus Magazine ‘I don’t fold under pressure’

2022    De Gelderlander, Section ‘Looking’, “the Opportunity Factory”

2022    Picture This, artist talk


2021    NPO RADIO 1, VPRO Bureau Buitenland

2021    NPO Radio 1, News&Co, NTR NOS

2021    Care & Welfare Magazine

2021    Pf Magazine (article on printing technique Playground 2020)

2021    Dutch national newspaper NRC Handelsblad "every curb a skatepark"

2021    FOCUS MAGAZINE "Playground 2020"

2020    Podcast 'Embrace Freedom', RARARADIO Eindhoven

2020    Article Dutch newspaper 'Eindhovens Dagblad' on project 'Embrace Freedom'

2019    Publication 'Looking', “Behind the Scenes” Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander

2019    Publication SHUTR Magazine, project 'Boyman'

2019    Review FOCUS Magazine, project 'Rijnwijk'

2019    Article in KIEKIE Magazine, 'from the inside'


2019    Interview, article BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY

2019    Publication series 'Rijnwijk My Neighborhood' & Interview in Sprank Magazine

2019    Publication portrait 'Ferry Mingelen' in ANBO Magazine

2019    Publication & interview in Dutch newspaper 'De Gelderlander'

2016    Publication series 'Connemara park' in CARA Inflight Aer Lingus

Sometimes, when life feels heavy, I completely focus on the shapes of things. Lines, material textures, patches of light—it brings perspective and makes the continuous drift mind-clouds of thoughts and opinions evaporate.

Artist statement: MONO NO AWARE

Under the title "Mono No Aware," I present my work. With Mono No Aware, I explore through pure intuition, categorizing my work into subcategories, each with its own title, shaping the broad idea.


What is Mono No Aware?

"Mono No Aware" is a Japanese term roughly translating to "the pathos of things" or "the sensitivity to the ephemeral nature of all things." It signifies a profound awareness and appreciation for life's transient nature and the beauty emerging from the inevitable passage of time. This concept often evokes nostalgia and acknowledges fleeting moments of beauty. German culture has a similar concept called "Sehnsucht," associated with longing for the unattainable.


25 years of (self-)exploration.

For roughly 25 years, I navigated a form of self-imposed captivity. After my mum died I finished University and entered the corporate world, seeking both financial security and identity. However, these roles didn't bring joy, feeling routine and unfulfilling. After I struggled mentally for a while around my thirties, I awakened to reassess life's meaning. Yet, returning to the system, I felt a deeper longing for purpose and identity.

This journey led me to embrace "Mono No Aware" and its resonance with life's impermanence. Through my lens, I capture fleeting moments, finding beauty in the mundane. As I wander literal and figurative paths, I seek to evoke emotions of nostalgia and longing, echoing the essence of Mono No Aware.


Through acceptance and creation, I find solace in capturing life's transient beauty, reflecting the interconnectedness of the universe and humanity's quest for meaning.

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