Student publishes book that captures the memories and nostalgia of Nijmegen

30 Sep 2021

In a photography book, Indonesian student Ricky Wijaya Umar has documented the cityscape, people and nature around Nijmegen. Now, he has self-published his work under the title ‘Quintessence of Nijmegen: Everything in life is art’, the profits of which will be shared with the Greener app working for climate action in the Netherlands.

How did you develop an interest in photography? Do you have any formal training?

‘I have never had any formal training per se, but I have always been interested in photography. I like to meet people and explore new places. And based on my experiences, I like to tell stories through my lens.’

How did you get interested in photographing the cityscape of Nijmegen? What does Nijmegen mean to you?

‘I grew up in Jakarta, the massive metropolitan capital of Indonesia. Nijmegen, on the other hand, is quiet and green and seemed like the ideal place for me. So taking up the journey of photographing the cityscape was very much inspired by the habitable atmosphere I found here.’

Your project is titled ‘Quintessence of Nijmegen’ – what exactly is it about?

‘The aim of ‘Quintessence of Nijmegen’ is to capture the memories and nostalgia of the city for people who have been here. But also to introduce people who have never been here to those sides of Nijmegen. Throughout the year that this project lasted, I always wanted my photographs to represent how people live and use spaces in Nijmegen. And my love for nature drove me to document the green side of Nijmegen as well.’

Who do you want to reach with this project?

‘It’s for everyone who feels a sense of belonging in the city. Especially the international students who will not stay here forever. The zine (a self-published little magazine, ed.) will help them carry their memories of Nijmegen with them.’

Do you already have new photography project ideas for the future?

For now, I want to focus on this project first until it’s finished. But even though photography is more of a hobby for me, I do practice on a regular basis to improve and master the craft.’

Photo: Ricky Wijaya Umar
Photo: Ricky Wijaya Umar
Photo: Ricky Wijaya Umar
Photo: Ricky Wijaya Umar
Photo: Ricky Wijaya Umar

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