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
Visual Science Award at Imagine Science Films, Abu Dhabi 2019
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