Individual Arts Grant from the Government of Flanders (2018-2019)

I’m happy to the recipient of an Individual Arts Grant from the Government of Flanders for a one-year period in 2018-2019. This is a scholarship specifically aimed at giving an artist the necessary time and space to deepen and broaden his or her practice as a whole, with contemplation and reflection at its core.

It’s nigh impossible to buy time to step back and reflect nowadays, and few grants support this… this is one of them. Allowing me to breathe, critique, and move forward in a meaningful way. Thank you for that.


ODO YAKUZA TOKYO (limited edition)

Finally.... it's here! The book ODO YAKUZA TOKYO.... Over on BURN Magazine there's a great interview by David Alan Harvey with me about the new book... and obviously you can buy it there. Please do so... it's a beautiful object... and limited to only 500 numbered copies...

Below an excerpt from the introductory text:

In the hotel bar in Niigata, I’m only slowly starting to understand the extremely subtle social interaction that is continuously happening; the micro-expressions on the faces, the gestures, the voices and intonations, the body language...

As the bar is being evacuated to make room for the godfather having a coffee, everything seems to be strictly organized but at the same time seems to come naturally: strange, I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do, where to sit, when to talk or when to shut up. It’s like I literally feel the boundaries, the implicit expectations, and I’m slowly learning when I can move forward, and when to best hold back.

Sitting at the table with a bodyguard looking straight through me, I drink my iced coffee. I’m feeling the acute sensation of walking on eggshells.


So yes, I feel a little like I took a step forward... printed and bound exactly like I envisioned it, a limited edition of 500 copies, soft cover, Japanese paper,... in my eyes, it has it all.

I sold 8 out of 10 copies at LOOK3 festival a few days ago, and was humbled by the amazing response. To watch someone looking through your book is something that completes the circle for me...

So go ahead, buy a copy, you will not be disappointed... and you will be supporting me to continue my work. Shipping starts on July 1st. My first task, tomorrow, is going to Japan with 10 books as a gift to the family bosses. Presented to them by me and my brother Malik with a little ceremony.

Fingers crossed.

Oh, and by the way.... today is my birthday.... some lucky coincidence.

[ NOTE: as of July 21 2011, this limited edition is sold out. You can direct any inquiries about this limited edition to me directly. There is a second edition of this book available; for more information and to buy the second edition, look here. ]

BURN Magazine

David Alan Harvey and I started Burn Magazine in December 2008, just before Christmas. We both committed to BURN in NYC in December 2008 (after a large gathering of great friends & fellows where the BURN idea actually crystallized - read this), shook hands, and simply went for it. I know we launched on an impossible moment right before or after Christmas – I can’t remember which day exactly – but right now, either one of those days sounds like impeccably bad timing from our part :-)

And throughout the first month we called each other daily… setting up essays, finding new talent, going through submissions, helping photographers deliver their essays and singles, taking care of the tech side, setting up an essay system, spinning ideas...

These days we still call each other daily. Make the editor’s decisions together. Discuss BURN’s future and how we should handle it. Half of the time I’m hopping between Brussels and Japan, and David’s flying from Mexico to Spain to NYC… The time zone differences are massive. We work together from different continents but we do it really well, only needing “half a word” to understand and act. This is our strength…

Of course there are people helping out right now, to whom we are massively indebted… Michael Courvoisier, Bob Black, Kerry Payne, Chris Bradley, and many others that are going to kill me for forgetting them, are all doing extremely valuable work… And of course not to forget the past work of the whole team at the infamous BURN initial meetup at the Kibbutz in NYC……. thanks a million…

David’s DAH man, but BURN is the both of us together… together making the editorial decisions, guiding the photographers to submit their work, doing the online and offline mentoring, Work-in-Progress and workshops, preparing the carefully targeted marketing of BURN, pitching the BURN story and our ideas to the right people – or at least, what we think are the right people… Looking for funding, hiring staff, freelancers and searching for talent, literally putting young photographers out there to create content for BURN, doing the same with iconic photographers, and pushing forward with the incredible stuff we still have in store…

Keep an eye on BURN... it's massive. It's there.