Photobooks of 2016: Awoiska van der Molen

Photobooks of 2016: Awoiska van der Molen

OSC [Osaka Station City] by Antony Cairns
A handmade publication showing a city how Cairns sees it and transforms it in the darkroom. After this Cairns printed the images on old computer programme punch cards. Understandable that this laborious gem only counts 85 copies.


Aeronautics in the Backyard by Xiaoxiao Xu
Chinese men making aircrafts as a hobby in their backyards with recycled scrap metal and household tools. Xiaoxiao travelled to eight different villages where she recorded their passion, technical drawings, and historical documents. A book showing childish playing mixed with endless perseverance.


Matter/ Burnout by Daisuke Yokota
Frankly, I did think: ‘What, Again a book by Daisuke Yokota? Can I become as enthusiastic again as I was in the beginning seeing his first publications? Yes I can. These dynamic images shake and make this book rock.


Barespagnol by Pablo Casino
The spiral bound book with thick paper pages shows images that brings me years back to Spanish village squares where retired hombres hang around. Actually it was in 2013 in Brussels that Pablo Casino photographed this local community of retired migrants from Spain. Luckily my melancholy doesn’t seem to be theirs, they have each other, sharing a history, what else do you need? With excerpts from literary texts by Julián Ayesta, Julia Faure and Ángel Álvarez.


Noir by Martine Stig
“The essence of cinema”, Einstein wrote, “does not lie in the images, but in the relation between the images”. This is the only text of this book printed at the spine. What seems to be a pocket reader at the outside (designed by Hans Gremmen) inside it shows superb printed hard-lit city scenes. Looking again and again at the combination of the images I start to interpret the images differently as in the beginning. Stig almost uses a scientific approach, add some drops of intuition, and it makes this book a strong one.


(Un)expected by Peter Dekens
Another work I where Peter Dekens makes social-sensitive matters visible. In this book he shows the coping process of surviving relatives of suicides in West Flanders, Belgium. The design protects these sensitive stories beautifully.


Astres Noirs by Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick
Two photographers -geographically far apart- having a photographic dialogue with a smartphone, resulted in this publication. The space in between them is a dark non existing world only illuminated when magic happens in a blink of a second. A beautiful translation from Instagram to this silver ink printed book.


While leaves are falling by Takahiro Kaneyama
‘I was raised by four women: mother, grandmother and two aunts who never got married. My mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was a teenager’. After Kaneyamas grandmother passed away he starts to photograph his mother and aunts on short trips around Japan which they had never done before. An intimate and touching view of a son seeing his mother vanishing. A Japanese family from the inside.


End. by Eamonn Doyle
End. is the last of a trilogy. In the first two books – one colour and one black and white- we are warmed up with striking Dublin ‘street images’. This last piece is not a book, but a piece of art: a slipcase holding loose sections with drawings, drawings on images, silver, black and white and colour, abstract and figurative plus a vinyl record. An explosion of all this in a perfect balanced harmony.


Awoiska van der Molen is a Dutch photographer based in Amsterdam. She is known for her black and white images showing her view on the natural landscape and her personal experience within it. In 2014 her book ‘Sequester’ was published.


Images – top: Aeronautics in the Backyard by Xiaoxiao Xu, below: (Un)expected by Peter Dekens