Investigating the sublime
Reclaiming joy is the winter motto for Zalando. For their latest, “Joy is ours” campaign, the forward-thinkers in fashion have launched a holistic holiday view. This season is all about reflecting on the moments which bring us joy, returning to the special memories of the past year (despite our trials and tribulations), as it is here we must hold on to our loved ones be immersed in the power of community. To mark this manifestation of the essential human emotion, Glamcult gathered a collective of creatives who represent joy; those who evoke happiness and unapologetically seek good. In doing so, we, of course, had to speak with Amsterdam-based, Dubai-born photographer Jaane. Our eyes and ears of all things’ nightlife, Jaane’s inquisitive lens focalises captures joy within its most candid moments, viewing the city as his playground.
Hey Jaan! You are, of course, Glamcult’s new nightlife bestie. Could you begin by talking through your photographic approach?
I don’t think I have quite found my consistent style yet, but I have this idealised image in my head that I wish to achieve – however, circumstances don’t always allow that! My approach to shooting, at the end of the day though (or the reason I began), is to be able to take pictures of real people and make those people happy. There is this genuine reaction when you show someone an image of themselves – whether they are a model or not – and I think this is the best thing about it. It’s collaborative. A team effort.
Totally. This interactivity, or intimacy, when creating an image is so important and so present in your imagery. How would you describe this journey you are on? As you mentioned, it’s a process when it comes to finding an individual style.
A lot of things have inspired me, my childhood for one. I grew up with the privileged of Dubai, and here, I was exposed a lot to the idea of the sublime, particularly when it came to Dubai’s approach to perfectionism. Moving to India, later on, was a complete ideological flip. It wasn’t my favourite place growing up, but looking back, a lot of my approaches to creating art comes from there. Then, when I was in the US, I was able to bring these two worlds together in a way – the sublime, and not so sublime haha. But, now, I live in Amsterdam! At first here my artistic spirit took a little break (or sleep), I felt quite lost. But now the creative crowd seems to be coming back, I am meeting people, including yourself, who will eventually become a part of my creative journey…
I totally get this about Amsterdam. However, what is interesting about the city is the moment its artistry comes to life it is imposing and bold. What has inspired you recently?
Definitely the people. Over the past year, I’ve met some lovely people (my girlfriend included), who I am able to share my thoughts and talk to. Because of that, I feel inspired. There is a sense of closeness and family that pulls everyone closer. Also, getting my studio. Having a space is such a motivating force for me and my friends.
What does the term joy mean to you?
The people I associate with joy are, firstly, my mum, who has helped shape and guide my life. I also think of my girlfriend, as we create together which feels like the ultimate privilege.
Style is also such an important way to express our inner feelings. What do the clothes you wear represent who you are as an artist?
I really like to think so! Going back to high school (at about 15), I remember Indian society being very strict. I always wanted to try new things, push the limits and see what was allowed. Today, I feel like I have continued in this direction. I may not be the most flamboyant, but it’s all about mood – power – which means my tall black flares ? . I recently stopped giving a shit about what people think, wearing whatever I feel like at the moment (despite past insecurities of being ‘too skinny’), it’s liberating.