Thinking how life would be changing if and when...

Just before his arrival at the international exhibition in Shanghai, Jaap Scheeren travelled in assignment for Foam Magazine for three weeks in amongst this Chinese metropolis. The result was the booklet ‘All of a sudden everything made sense’, which was distributed as a supplement in the magazine as a collaboration between The Outlook Magazine & Foam Magazine. One half of the booklet compiled a series by Jaap Scheeren, the other half the work of young Chinese photographer Liu Yi Qing.
In this series we see work of Jaap Scheeren, which relates to his previous works: He allows himself to be surprised by what he comes across. From this he makes a selection and places the elements he wants to photograph into a new environment.
Another approach is to carefully compose a scene just as he had imagined it when the assignment first posed itself. (see also the Artist Statement in Biography.)

This photo is an example of such a scene. In his list of ideas he’d sketched out before leaving to Shanghai, was scenario number 10:

People who try to escape the hectic life of the city. For example, someone sitting in a tree, or someone in an unused terrain enjoying the view of the city.

The man, who ponders casually on the periphery of the city, sat upon a stone fishing an object out of the water, clearly has a connection to the city on the other side of the water. In clothes and appearance he belongs to the city, and not to this side of the water. But what brings him here, what possesses him? Is he an office clerk lost during his lunch break? A fisherman who’s just checking his nets before he weds?
With the title ‘Thinking how life would be changing if and when…’ Jaap Scheeren directs us to how we might view this image. But the interpretation remains open. Encouragingly so, as those who see something else, are invited to do so.

Jaap Scheeren