David Verbeek


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Portrait of David Verbeek

Asia based Dutch director, video artist and photographer David Verbeek (1980, The Netherlands) studied film, photography and philosophy at the New School University in New York and graduated in film directing at the Dutch Film Academy in 2005. His work R U THERE was selected for the Cannes film festival where it was part of that the prestigious Un Certain Regard programme.

Over the last decade David Verbeek has explored the idea of disconnection between people in his films. Most often these carry a highly contemplative character taking as their subject the solitude and desperation of people in crowded and impersonal cities such as Shanghai or Taipei.

Verbeek has worked recently both on art video (Immortelle and Full Contact) and feature films (Shanghai Trance, R U There and How to Describe a Cloud, Full Contact), engaging the audience in both versions, while exploring his perceived world in slow shots with the story telling pushed back to the background.

He made a total of six international feature films that have granted him international recognition in the world of contemporary art-house cinema. Films such as Shanghai Trance (2008) selected for several festivals around the world like Chicago, Hong Kong and Festival Premiers Plans d’Angers had a big release in China where it was screened in 240 movie theatres in 88 cities. His latest film Full Contact compares the alienation of drone warfare with the intimacy of physical fighting. It premiered in 2015 as part of the PLATFORM competition at the Toronto International Film Festival and is exhibited in its art version – in the groupshow ‘Close Up – A New Generation of Film and Video Artists in the Netherlands’ in Museum EYE.

Aside his cinematic work, Verbeek photographs are equally charged with a dark feel of a supernatural realm lurking beneath, as seen in the work of his admired artists Gregory Crewdson and David Lynch. For his haunting photo series Ghost Month (2014) he received a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary art in Taipei, Taiwan.

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