"One tree, so many leaves, one tree…one people." —R. Dobru
If you know where Suriname is, then you might know something of its history and connections to both the Netherlands and the African continent. The noted fashion photographer, Viviane Sassen, who was born in Amsterdam, but at the age of two spent three indelible years as a child in Kenya, understands the Dutch relationship to this small, South American nation.
Pikin Slee is a large village on the Upper Suriname River. Sassen’s experience among its inhabitants, who have none of the modern world’s conveniences (running water, electricity, paved roads), deeply affected her. These photographs, lush with light and color, tell her story—one of a skilled photographer interpreting a different world.
Viviane Sassen is represented by the Stevenson Gallery in Capetown, South Africa where her latest exhibition, Pikin Slee, is on view. In April, Prestel will release an eponymous monograph. Bridging the worlds of fashion and fine art photography, Sassen makes crossing the bridge look easy. —Lane Nevares