ING Unseen Talent Award: Meet the Talents

by Unseen July 09 2015

Following the first selection of talents to participate in the ING Unseen Talent Award, on the 1st of July the first coaching session took place at Foam Amsterdam.

The session began with a personal tour through Foam by Deputy Artistic Director Marcel Feil who, along with giving general information about what the exhibitions were about, explained in further detail why certain choices are made and how exhibitions are built up. The talents then began their first coaching session under the guidance of established Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra. During this session the artists were able to talk about their portfolios and developing ideas for the commission that will eventually be created for ING under the theme: Who are we here for?

Below we introduce the talented individuals who have been selected to participate in the ING Unseen Talent Award.

Lara Gasparotto (BE)
Young Belgian photographer Lara Gasparotto (b. 1989, Belgium) is known for the insistent figure of a woman consistent in her images: young, sensual, sometimes contemplative to the point of withdrawal. Based in Brussels, Gasparotto’s latest activity includes a solo exhibition at the Photography Museum of Charleroi, a group exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, as well as representation at Art Brussels and Unseen Photo Fair in 2014.

Olya Oleinic (NL)
Olya Oleinic (b.1991, Moldova), currently living and working in Amsterdam, received her BA of Photography and Design last year at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. Her graduation project Universal Guide to Everything won the Steenbergen Stipendium in 2014 and has since been exhibited in Fotomuseum Rotterdam and Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in The Netherlands (OCW). Though Oleinic prefers working in the medium of photography, her images are thoroughly constructed and often combine different techniques to achieve the final results.

“Being a finalist of the ING Unseen Talent Award feels like a great gesture of support and encouragement from the jury and the professionals within the art world. It’s a precious experience and a strong motivation for creating new work”. 

Sébastien Bonin (BE)
Sébastien Bonin (b. 1977, Belgium) lives and works in Brussels. Since receiving his BA at ENSAV La Cambra, his work has been shown at numerous solo and group exhibitions across Belgium, as well as in Paris and LA. His "photographic objects" are an exploration of the sculptural dimension of photography, the endogenous dynamics of which suggest a transfiguration of his subjects by the media, through composition and display experiments. On the topic of working under the given theme, Bonin says, “I think the theme is close to a philosophical essay title. I do not usually work from a theme but it is interesting to picture an existential question and to have to adapt my work within given constraints.”

Sophie Jung (LU)
Sophie Jung (b. 1982, Luxembourg) received her BFA from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her upcoming projects include online commission for Inflected Objects at Instituto Svizzero in Milan, the 4th edition of the Eternal Internet Brotherhood, Uncanny Valley at Wysing Arts Centre (UK) as well as äppärät at Ballroom Marfa (US). Her work is strict, slick and abstract as well as emotionally involved, performative and overly literal. “I work in sound and unsound found, claimed and reclaimed footage.”

Sjoerd Knibbeler (NL)
Based in Amsterdam, Sjoerd Knibbeler (b. 1981, the Netherlands) studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. His work focuses on visualising invisible natural phenomena such as the wind, air movement and climatological conditions. This year Sjoerd Knibbeler won the Grand Prix du Jury Photographie at the 30th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France. Sjoerd Knibbeler on what to expect from the ING Unseen Talent Award: "I'm very happy to be nominated for this award. It is a great opportunity to deveop new work in a coaching trajectory will enable me to further my artistic practice and present my work to an international jury in the exciting context of Unseen Photo Fair."

After this first coaching session, the young talents will begin creating the commissioned piece under the guidance of Rineke Dijkstra during the second coaching session to took place on the 29th of July. Be sure to check our website to follow their progress in the coming months. For more information on the collaboration, read more here.

*Photos of Lana Gasparotto, Olya Oleinic, Sébastian Bonin and Sophie Jung were taken by Milan Vermeulen. Photo of Sjoerd Knibbeler taken by Jan Versweyveld.