Jan van IJken (1965) is a documentary photographer and filmmaker from the Netherlands. He is self-taught and is working mainly autonomously on long-term projects. As a photographer, he developed a strong eye for natural light, composition and detail. Lately he has become more and more interested in human/animal relationships and nature. He is developing himself as a microscopist.


In recent years, he developed himself as an independent filmmaker. He produced, filmed and edited 4 short films:

Becoming (2018, HD Video, color, 06:15) about the miraculous genesis of animal life
Award for ‘Best Short Documentary’ at Innsbruck Nature Film Festival, Austria 2018

The art of flying (2015, HD Video, black&white, 06:52) about starling murmurations
Awarded ‘Best art film’ at Pärnu Film Festival, Estonia
More than 50 screenings at international filmfestivals, biennales, etc.

Nevermore (2013 HD Video, color, 03:37) about the process of action painting

Facing Animals (2012, HD Video, color, 29:31) about the complex human-animal relationship
Grand prix short films at Split Film festial, Croatia


He published 3 photobooks:
Precious Animals (2005) about the relationship between man and animal

New Neighbours (2004) about the enlargement of the E.U.

A touch of Divinity (2001) about religion in Eastern Europe
The publication of the book was followed by a tour around monumental churches.

Assignments and Funding
2003 Document Nederland, Rijksmuseum / NRC Handelsblad
2006 Stipend The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture

Publications (selected)
Trouw, Volkskrant Magazine , PF, Nikon Pro Magazine, Black&White Photography, Kwartalnik Fotografia, Theme-supplement / special of Dierbaar/Precious Animals, printed with NRC Handelblad, Focus Magazine, De Morgen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, El Mundo Magazine, EIGHT, Shots, Mother Jones Magazine,  International Photography Awards, Vision, Vice Magazine, America Photography #23, Days Japan

Solo-exhibitions (selected)
2001 Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
2001 Der Aa-kerk Groningen
2005-2006 Huis Marseille Amsterdam,
2006 Screening at photofestival Visa pour l’image, Perpignan, France

Awards (selected):
Humanity Photo Award, China
International Photography Awards
American Photography

2005 NPS Kunststof, 1 hour interview
2005 VARAVroege Vogels,  2 hour special/interview

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
John Cleary Gallery, Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Hollandse Hoogte photo-agency, Amsterdam