Relics of a Different World

In Architecture, Art, Photography, Post-Apocalyptic, Surreal on June 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

Just came back from a short trip to Amsterdam and was really taken in by this one bookshop called Joot (stands for ‘Just Out Of Time’). I really liked this bookshop for its strange and varied collection. Somewhat small in size, but very cosy and selling primarily art books and small selection of old vintage pieces, what I found refreshing about this store was that it was very well curated- every single book in that store was considered and the collection became very unique.  They also have an online store at and ships internationally (hooray!).

I was so lucky to get two amazing finds! Both of which are photography books of JAN KEMPENAERS, an Antwerp-based photographer who hits exactly the sweet spot of the style and content of photograph that I obsess with. He takes extremely picturesque shots with a strange dream-like quality.

Above is the cover of his book ‘Spomenik’ which instantly caught my eye as I walked into Joot. What are these? Alien structures? I couldn’t believe that they actually exist on this planet but they do. These ‘Spomeniks’ are monuments in former Yugoslavia, surviving and weathered by the elements. So beautiful and mystical as these sculptures that they could belong to a whole different universe altogether. Kempenaers also did an excellent job on capturing these in such a romantic dreamy way. Unbelievable. Here are some of his photographs which I love:

I could not resist getting his other book ‘Picturesque’ either. A compilation of architecture and landscape work, they reflect Kempenaer’s research into the theme of ‘Contemporary Picturesque’ where land alterations by man has forestalled nostalgia and forces the viewer to take in the beauty of the present as it is while pondering the implications of the future on the environment. I especially love the colouring of his work.

Definitely worth a look through and if you would like to order his books, they are available on his site at



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