The blog

The Detached Gaze presents a collection of sources on visual perception and alternative ways of representing space within the realm of photography and painting. As visual artists/ photographers we aim to analyse how these representations can affect our gaze on a fundamental level and change the way we relate to the world.

In this blog we will share and archive our artistic research of the past 5 years. This research was often done in the first conceptual stages of our projects and has created a theoretical context for our photographic work to arise from. We hope The Detached Gaze will function as a place for discussion and lead to some insights into new ways of seeing.

The title refers to the Japanese term ‘Riken no ken’ which means ‘watching with a detached gaze’ or literally ‘looking in an unprejudiced way’. For centuries it has been used in Japanese garden making as an important empirical method to perceive the garden space to its fullest extend. It encourages the beholder to look in an active, wandering and open-minded way in order to experience the phenomena of nature.

About us


Sjoerd van Oevelen (The Netherlands, 1974) and Elodie Hiryczuk (France, 1977) work collectively since 2001. Hiryczuk attended the Sandberg Institute and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Van Oevelen studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam.

Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen’s work was exhibited at, amongst others, Museum de Paviljoens in Almere, DordtYart in Dordrecht, Contemporary Istanbul (Turkey), gallery De Expeditie in Amsterdam, and Skaftfell Centre for Visual Arts/ Bokasafn in Seydisfjördur (Iceland). In 2005 they received a Red Dot Award and in 2007 they were nominated for the 13th Van Bommel Van Dam Prize. Hiryczuk and Van Oevelen live and work in Amsterdam. For more information see: →


This research project was made possible by the support of:
→ Mondriaan Fund
→ Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK).

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