When the world came to a standstill in 2020 due to the pandemic, it also affected the city of Rotterdam, where photographer Harry Wijsbroek lives. The crowds disappeared, routines changed in a very short time and the city found a new balance. Man continued to live adapting to new circumstances, while the city lived on too, untouched.
The pandemic inspired Harry to create this series about Emptiness. His cityscapes show the loneliness and impersonality he felt in 2020. Harry became much more aware of this emptiness, but also of the charm of the scenes and started capturing these ‘still lives’ of his city.
Harry Wijsbroek has always had a fascination for the sober, the kept distance and sometimes darkness in images, films and music. For him, emptiness is ‘the big nothing’, melancholy, desolation, hurt, the harshness and anonymity of the city. Inspired by the first great color photographers, he used photography to also emphasize ‘the beauty in the ugliness’ and the power of simplicity to turn ‘nothing’ into a pleasing and empty portrait of the city.