Anton Hazewinkel’s dedication in depicting the wide spectrum of Beijing’s society is impressive. Be it the art collector next door, the punk rock band member or the frustrated unemployed, Hazewinkel portrays his subjects with great care and technique. He adopts various mediums which lends breadth and depth to the stories but it is his patience that illicits remarkable honesty from his subjects. Here, he shares with us about telling the tales of Beijing’s remarkable residents, his portraiture work and panoramic sweeps.
SA: Share a little about yourself, Anton and your journey to Beijing.
AH: I’m Dutch. I started my career as an artist after graduating in Audio Visual Arts (video and photography) in the 80s. In those days the economic climate was not so good and when I was offered a chance to make a career in IT, I took it. For over 20 years I worked in a business environment; first as a manager in the airline industry and later with my own company as an interim manager and as an investor in ICT and call centre ventures. In 2005 I ended up in Beijing for an IT project. I enjoyed the environment and energy a lot and at that time I was ready for a change. I sold my house in the Netherlands and moved to Beijing. With the Olympics upcoming, I founded a company, together with a partner, that provided call centre and concierge services for sponsors of the Olympics and other expats. After the Olympics we closed the business and I started a photo retouching company that I am still running today. It was the start of using my skills in photography as a professional. Ever since I arrived in Beijing I have been using my spare time to make photos on the streets, but I never had the time to focus on projects. In the summer of 2010 I decided to give it a try and dedicate most of my time on developing myself as a photographer.
Mr. Zhang, who is unemployed, smokes a cigarette.
SA: How would you describe your style of photography?
AH: I like to work in different styles and there is a lot I’d like to try in the future, but my main focus is currently on social documentary. Within this focus I divide my time between street photography and making portraits. Continue reading ‘Behind the Camera Interview: Anton Hazewinkel on “Beijing Walks of Life”’