05 Feb, 2022
"The beauty of things lies in the mind that contemplates it." (English Proverb)
In an ideal world, constituted and thought out for the people by ideas of an overpowering system, it is a challenge to find one's identity, especially if its comfort lies beyond the boundaries, that seem irrefutable.
This tender body of work invites us to partake in the process of becoming open minded and living one's identity undefined by external circumstances, not through harsh resistance but humbleness and the embrace of all what makes us human.
"A few years ago I was invited to produce an extensive photography project about the LGBTQ+ community in China. So in September 2019 I traveled to Xiamen to start this project. I portrayed 14 young lesbian and gay individuals (couples and singles).
I found all of them through my existing network in Xiamen and we got into contact through. Apart from the photographs I took of these subjects and their personal surroundings, I also interviewed them about their life, love and also, their personal fears. Because of the pandemic I haven’t been able to return to Xiamen. This is why we decided that I should continue the project here in the Netherlands, photographing young Chinese people from the LGBTQ community here". SMH
Sarah Mei Herman studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague, from which she received her BA in 2005. In 2010 she completed her MA in Photography at The Royal College of Art in London. Herman received several grants from Mondriaan Fund, Prins Bernard Cultuur Fund and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. Her work has been shown internationally, among others at The National Portrait Gallery in London, at Le Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, at JIMEI X ARLES International Photofestival and at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. Her work is included in several art collections such as Rabobank Art Collection (NL), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NL) and AMC Art Collection (NL). Herman was a finalist for Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography 2018 where she received the American Vintage Photography Prize 2018. That same year she also won the Rabobank Dutch National Portrait Prize. In 2020 her project Germano, about her Jewish family history, was exhibited at the Jewish History Museum in Amsterdam. Next year "Germano" will be exhibited more extensively at Kaunas Photography Gallery in Kaunas, Lithuania. Last fall Herman's series “Touch” was exhibited at the Benaki Museum as part of Athens Photo Festival 2020. Most recently her series “Julian & Jonathan” was shown at Museum Technische Sammlungen in Dresden for the Hellerau Photography Award 2021. Currently Herman is working on a commissioned book about the LGBTQ community in China for the book series "Diverse Humanity" by Emerson & Wajdowitcz Studios.