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Sarah Mei Herman

Hyères Festival
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Sarah Mei Herman (1980) studied at the Hague Royal Academy of Fine Arts and then at the Royal College of Arts in London. She has exhibited as part of  Jimei x Arles: East West Encounters at Xiamen International festival, in China (2017); at the Nuit des Images at the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne.

A few chance encounters, passing through the Xiamen campus, in China, where Sarah Mei Herman was in residence, simultaneously constituted the starting point for a friendship and a photographic narrative. In the manner of her other current series, where she explores the relationship between her father and her brother over fifteen years, this Dutch photographer’s vision is long-term. She initially visited Xiamen for a four month residency, but has returned several times, driven by the series which she initiated and the bonds that she has made. She returns to find some of the young girls she photographed and together they weave a thread consisting of daily and intimate moments. A frantic and noisy China has given way to an environment that is pared down and silent, made of delicate gestures, which allow for these moments of sorority to unfold in the frame created by the image. Sarah Mei Herman’s soft and luminous palette proceeds out of this same delicate treatment, reinforcing the feeling of empathy which exists between these young girls as well as that which is patiently nourished between them and the photographer.

Sarah Mei Herman’s work has been shown internationally, among others at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Le Chateau d’Eau in Toulouse, Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and the Benaki Museum in Athens. Her work has been included in several art collections such as Rabobank Art Collection and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 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. Last year her project “Germano” was exhibited at the Jewish History Museum in Amsterdam. Recently Herman completed the photography for a new commissioned photo book “Solace” about the Chinese LGBTQ community. She received an honorable mention by the Gomma Photography Grant for this project.