We are Jan’s biggest fans but we have never had the occasion to exhibit his legendary series Traces of War before. 24 Dutch and Indonesian men in this exhibition share the brutal World War II experience of working on the Burma or Sumatra (aka: Pakanbaroe) Railroads, for which the Japanese used forced labor. For the portraits, Banning took them back to the period of their slave labour: he photographed them the way they worked on the railroads; bare from the waist up.
In addition to taking their portraits, Banning interviewed the men about their experiences as forced laborers and how these experiences influenced the rest of their lives. Banning‘s grandfather survived the Burma Railroad, and his father Frans, the Sumatra Railroad. As several of his series, Traces of War is part of the Rijksmuseum Collection.
All this together with a sneak preview of Jan Banning’s latest series “Red Utopia’. Just a preview as it shall serve as an apetizer for his upcoming exhibition at Museum De Fundatie (October 14 - January 7)