Jan van IJken is a filmmaker and photographer from Leiden, the Netherlands, working at the interface of art and science. His work is about the secrets of nature, microscopy, embryology and human-animal relationships. He is working mainly autonomously on long-term projects. As a photographer, he developed a strong eye for natural light, composition and detail. One of his films, Becoming (2018) went viral in 2019. Becoming (2018, HD Video, color, 06:15) is about the miraculous genesis of animal life and has been screened at more than 25 international film festivals and received the Award for best short documentary at the Innsbruck nature film festival 2018, the Visual Science Award at Imagine Science Abu Dhabi 2019 and a honorary mention at Academia Film, Olomouc, CZ. The film was awarded Vimeo Staff Pick of the Month and nominated for Vimeo Best of 2019 (top 10 experimental films).
In this podcast episode I go into conversation with Jan about the role of imagination in his work, but as it turns out it is imagination is tied to an unstoppable curiosity and wonderment for the world around us that is the base for his work.