Left: Jonathan, right: Brandon

8 Amsterdam creatives on surviving lockdown and their hopes for the future

Nick van Tiem captured young models, musicians and fashion students through a telephoto lens, while we quizzed them.

by Rolien Zonneveld
|
11 June 2020, 1:00pm

Left: Jonathan, right: Brandon

We've all experienced those long, repetitive days when it feels like the walls are closing in on us -- we long for normal, uncompromised get-togethers with friends and family, for life to no longer feel so calculated. Luckily, restrictions in most countries are slowly starting to ease and summer holidays, of some sort, are imminent.

Photographer Nick van Tiem, who after months of travelling and hectic work schedules suddenly found himself stuck at home like the rest of us, tried to think of ways to remain creative -- to interact, to photograph, or be photographed, all while keeping things corona-proof. He asked eight young Amsterdammers to pose in front of his camera, shooting them from a safe distance through a telephoto lens. No hair, no makeup, just the model showing off their own style. We asked them how they’ve been keeping sane over the past couple of months, what their hopes are for the post-pandemic world, and what they’re most looking forward to once the current restrictions lift.

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Franek Zatonski, 20, model

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? I found the space to fall in love for the first time. What are you most looking forward to when this is all over? Seeing people be mindless again. Everything is too structured now, lots of protocols to follow. I miss not having to calculate risks every time I go to buy cigarettes. How have you been keeping sane during lockdown? Starting the day by having breakfast on the grass and coming to terms with the inability to be even slightly productive. What has been your favourite lockdown look? Totally nude with a blue yak wool blanket from my grandmother. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? I would like for Weili Zhang to teach me how to fight, Jean Genet to teach me French and Gwyneth Paltrow to show me her eco-chic way of life. What do you hope will be the lasting positive impact on the fashion industry? I hope it goes entirely digital by producing filters that supply us with beautiful garments, entirely zero waste. All of those would be easily customisable with an app available for free. How do you define your generation? Over-stimulated and a bit on edge, but with a really good sense of humour.

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Chun Sensei, 20, musician

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? I was planning to go to America with my family, and then to Japan with a friend of mine. I found a new job, worked there for two days and then got hit by the corona crisis and lost my job. What are you most looking forward to when this is all over? First I thought it was going out to the club, but now I realise that I really miss going out to restaurants with friends. How have you been keeping sane during lockdown? Focusing on music mostly, trying to do as much as possible. What has been your favourite lockdown look? Just some joggers, a hoodie and my Ed Hardy cap. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? Michael Jordan -- I've watched his documentary and I know he will motivate me whatever the costs. How do you define your generation? I think our generation is very smart, talented, up-to-date and knows a lot. The future is in our hands!

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Nanne Tjoelker, 21, model and student

How have you been keeping sane during lockdown? I have been improving my photoshop skills as well as learning how to sew. I have also been drawing a lot. Who has been your biggest inspiration in the past couple of months? Playboi Carti. I really like his aesthetic and how he seems to be heavily influenced by punk. I really admire how punks dressed back in the 70s, and this is incorporated by him in conjunction with high-end brands like Rick Owens. What has been your favourite lockdown look? My Dr Martens 1460s; my self-made bleached denim; an A$AP Rocky merch t-shirt; and a Vivienne Westwood pearl choker. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? My best friends, we'd try to create something everyday. Also Kanye West -- I think he is something of a genius who would be very interesting to talk to. What do you hope the lasting impact on the fashion industry will be? I hope the industry rethinks the way that they produce clothes, as well as how often they have fashion shows. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting ones, and its mindset of constantly pushing products needs to be changed.

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Brandon Guman, 19, musician and student

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? In a bad way. Me and my brother are in a band together called No More Pain. I had a lot of new music, so I needed to work on new strategies to push this shit. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? Joe Pass, so he could teach me guitar; Beetlejuice, the actor dude, he’s actually really smart and the funniest; and probably Joe Rogan. Also my brothers Jonathan and Yip, because they are with me in every world. What lasting positive impact do you hope this period has on the world? Don’t believe the hype. Don’t believe everything on the internet. Factcheck the sources. The media is driving people crazy and they can’t think for themselves. Start with yourself and let others follow. How do you define your generation? Smart and creative, but way too focused on irrelevant shit. I focus on myself instead of others, and advise others to do the same.

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Jonathan The, 16, model and high school student

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? I didn’t make many plans anyway, but the ones I did have we mostly recreated online. How have you been keeping sane while in lockdown? I play online games with friends. Who has been your biggest inspiration in the last couple of months? My chemistry teacher makes an enormous effort to go out of her way to continue lessons normally, which doesn’t always work but her effort is inspiring. What has your favourite lockdown look been? Bed head. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? Me, Solus Caste and Stephanie Edgly. What do you hope will be the lasting positive impact on the fashion industry? Sustainable use of resources. And on the world as a whole? Re-evaluated personal values. How do you define your generation? Arrogant but also intuitive.

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Bas Draak, 20, model

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? My friends and I were very much looking forward to go to WHOLE, a queer festival near Berlin, to be surrounded by beautiful, like-minded people; enjoying the sun, the music, and each other. Who has been your biggest inspiration in the last couple of months? Milan Kundera, or actually the friend that recommended him to me. I’ve been reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which is so beautifully poetic it pushed me to write more myself, and even made my thoughts sound more lyrical. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? Reece King. I think he’s really cute, but I might have ruined my chances when I DM-ed him in 2017 asking if he wanted to marry me… What lasting impact do you hope this period has on the fashion industry? To shift the seasonal and short-lived view on fashion to a more continual one where items are made to last a lifetime, and with re-appreciation for existing pieces and textiles. And on the world as a whole? I hope that, even when we’re all back to our jobs and school, we won’t forget that we don’t have to be busy all the time to be happy, that work isn’t everything, and that our productivity does not define our worth.

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Duncan Maxwell, 18, DJ

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? COVID-19 impacted my 2020 and mental wellbeing significantly. I'm less motivated and don't have anything to look forward to. I can't go to parties, festivals, events, etc. I can't even go to the skatepark without cops coming over every 20 minutes trying to give people tickets. It's fucked up. What are you looking forward to most when this is all over? Some type of big-ass party or a vacation, maybe a concert if there's something dope around. How have you been keeping sane while in lockdown? Just a whole lot of art and a whole lot of smoking with my friends. What has been your favourite lockdown look? Pyjama pants with a cosy hoodie. If I'm actually going out, I'll throw on some some custom pants with a flashy blouse and an overdose of accessories. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? I'd make the craziest over the top hot trash music with Nick Blinko, Jimi Hendrix, Young Thug, City Morgue, and my brother Delta.

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Duuk Rijper, 18, model and fashion student

How has coronavirus impacted your 2020 plans? The virus is a big ‘fuck you’ to all my plans of travelling and exploring, but it cleared the way for other things to happen, and time for extra creativity. What are you looking forward to most when this is all over? Being able to explore every weird corner of this world, with any person I meet along the way. And to collaborate with creative people I’m yet to meet. How have you been keeping sane during lockdown? I have a love-hate relationship with my insanity, which on the one hand drives me to make art, and on the other hand, well... insane. Who has been your biggest inspiration in the last couple of months? Mr. Mercury aka Freddie. He’s always been a muse to me. In a parallel universe, who would be part of your dream quaranteam? Johann Sebastian Bach, Elvis Presley and all of Queen. We'd make an otherworldly musical acid-y experience together. What do you hope will be the lasting positive impact on the world as a whole? I hope it explodes.

Credits


Photography Nick van Tiem
Styling Suze Kuit
Post-production Thijme & Szafranska
Special thanks to Studio Umsjatka
Models Franek Zatonski @ Vein Agency, Chun Sunsei, Nanne Tjoelker, Jonathan The @ Elvis Models, Bas Draak @ Vein Agency, Duuk Rijper, Brandon Guman, Duncan Maxwell

Tagged:
Amsterdam
Lockdown
Photography
MODEL
nick van tiem