Info on books

by Prestel

Publisher Prestel Verlag
ISBN 978-3-7913-8160-2
Design and layout Irma Boom Office

This latest book by Viviane Sassen explores the concept of shadow.

Based on the exhibition UMBRA, first shown at the Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Viviane Sassen’s new book focuses on a common theme in her photographs: shadow. In this book she leads us through a series of thought-provoking takes on the concept—shadow as metaphor for anxiety and desire; as a symbol of both memory and hope for the future; and as an evocation of imagination and illusion. Sassen’s work is renowned for its interplay between realism and abstraction. Here that characteristic emerges in the dramatic use of light, shadow and color, as well as the cropping of images and interventions on the prints. This book accentuates Sassen’s contrasting color schemes to reinforce the idea of shadow creating a tactile and visual experience.


Lexicon01  Lexicon02
Shigeo Goto Sawako Fukai
Publisher Artbeat Publishers
ISBN 9784902080483

Viviane Sassen’s first photo book in Japan, Lexicon includes the series by the same title which was chosen by Massimiliano Gioni to be part of The Encyclopedic Palace at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013). The thirty-one images, encompassing iconic and more recent ones, wove together the themes recurring in her work: death, mourning, the fear of being alone and the longing for an emotional connection. The profound sensitivity behind the vivid images is enhanced by a  delicate book design and the use of special Japanese paper.


UMBRA by Oodee
with poems by Maria Barnas
Oodee Publishing

UMBRA delves into the world of shadows. A darkness that is seductive and deceptive.
A darkness that lies in every human soul, as a still black lake with a surface flat as a mirror that can not be but shattered.

UMBRA is, naturally, also the story of light, from its blinding qualities to its brittle brightness. The ever conflicting pull of light and darkness kicked off the quest for imagery of what can not be contained: a world continuously in motion, the mind unable to decide which direction to take. Shadow, eventually, as a force of life, and not only the negation of light.

Viviane Sassen and Maria Barnas shared their interests in the darker sides of life, in this publication that shines with lucidity.

Folder (foil block cover)
Containing a booklet
and 11 single prints

April 2014 – first edition
ISBN 978-0-9570389-50
28 pages, 11 photographs
24 x 34 cm

April 2015 – second Edition
ISBN 978-0-9570389-67
28 pages, 11 photographs
15 x 21 cm


Pikin Slee
ISBN 978-3-7913-4953-4

Renowned photographic artist Viviane Sassen’s latest body of work was realized in a remote village on the Upper Suriname River. Known for her imaginative approach to fashion photography, Sassen’s lens here captures mundane objects, making them appear extraordinary against the background of nature’s overwhelming presence. Largely shot in black and white, the informal photos also capture a sense of Sassen’s personal connection to the village, which is inhabited by the ancestors of former slaves who escaped Dutch rule.

“This project is an exploration of the beauty of the everyday,” writes Sassen in her introduction, “an investigation of the sculptural qualities of the ordinary.” Her many followers will find much to contemplate and savour in this new book by an artist who constantly challenges herself and her audience.
144 pages
9.4 x 11.0 Inches
33 colour illustrations
60 b/w illustrations


Oodee Publishing
ISBN 978-0-9570389-4-3

ETAN & ME is a story of love and loss, of Eros and Thanatos. It’s a story about the exploration of the Self and the Other. Are we ever able to truly know someone, to truly know ourselves?

These are the question which come to mind when looking at the latest book of renowned artist / photographer Viviane Sassen. In a remote village in the jungle of Suriname, she took portraits of this young man called Etan and combined them with blurred and scattered self-portraits, reflecting on the ancient myths of Narcissus and the Origin of Painting by Pliny the Elder.

Nov 2013 – first edition

Edition of 1000

72 pages
43 photographs
20.5 x 28.2 cm
screen printed and emboss


In and out of fashion
ISBN 978-3-7913-4828-5

Following the success of Parasomnia, this major new book focuses on the fashion photography of Viviane Sassen.

Bringing together 17 years of work in the fashion world, this eye-catching volume features selections from Sassen’s awardwinning series and campaigns for Stella McCartney, Adidas, Carven, Bergdorf Goodman, MiuMiu, and M Missoni, along with editorials for magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, i-D, Numéro, Purple, AnOther Magazine, Dazed &Confused, Fantastic Man, and POP. Sassen’s intuitive and imaginative style can be flamboyant, contemplative, erotic, and surreal, often simultaneously. This volume includes essays that offer a context for Sassen’s work in the history of fashion photography as well as a bibliography of nearly all of her fashion series. The book will be a delight for Sassen’s many fans and those eager for inspiration or beautiful escape.

“The work is alive, fearless, visionary… The book is energetic—the pages almost seem to turn themselves, and you get the feeling that Sassen’s ideas never stop.” —Feature Shoot

296 pages
23.0 x 28.0 cm
9.1 x 11.0 Inches
250 colour illustrations


Oodee Publishing
ISBN 978-0-9570389-1-2

‘Roxane’ is a visual journal intime by photographer Viviane Sassen. Roxane’s body and expressions follow the artist’s direction in a sequence of poses and moods collected over a number of years. The viewer is offered a glimpse of Sassen’s creative process through the relationship between the photographer and her muse.

20.5 x 28.2 cm
11.1 x 8.1 inches
76 pages
Type: Design and publishing


Die Son Sien Alles
ISBN 978-91-86269-19-7

Dutch-born, Kenyan-raised photographer Viviane Sassen continues her equally playful and incisive explorations of contemporary African culture, visuality and desire with Die Son Sien Alles. Published by the brilliant Libraryman (Stockholm) in an extremely limited edition, this stunning volume captures the vibrant, poster-strewn interiors of shantytown dwellings and businesses in Cape Town.

40 Pages
23.5 x 30 cm
Cloth Bound
Second Edition
Edition of 700

ISBN 978-3-7913-4521-5

Saturated with color and boldly composed, Viviane Sassen’s photographs straddle the boundaries of fashion, art, and documentary photography.

This monograph by the award-winning Dutch-born photographer Viviane Sassen features photographs from throughout West and East Africa. Sassen’s overriding theme is parasomnia, a sleep disorder involving strange movements, behaviors, emotions, and dreams. The otherworldly feel of these photographs, involving both human and inanimate subjects, aptly conveys an altered-consciousness point of view—one that is at home in the pages of a fashion magazine, newspaper, or a modern art gallery. Indeed, Sassen’s images have appeared in all three venues and to wide acclaim. Sassen’s photographic series is engaging and thrillingly beautiful, filled with shadow and ambiguity, and it offers a challenge to the viewers to come up with their own narrative.

296 pages
24.5×30 cms
9.6 x 11.8 Inches
55 colour illustrations


Kominek Gallery
16 x 20 cm
36 pages
Stamped cardboard cover, binded with stitched black thread.
design: SYB

Sketches includes Polaroids made in Africa between 2002 and 2010. This publication could serve as an introduction to the work of Viviane Sassen and specially during the period of the Flamboya work. Sketches captures the raw energy of spontaneously staged street scenes and shows an inside view on the creative process of Viviane Sassens photography. The design of the publication is by Sybren Kuiper, who also designed the highly acclaimed Flamboya book. The reproductions of Polaroid piles suggests the 3 dimensional feeling of a real Polaroid. The tactile finish of the embossed cardboard cover and the binding with stitched black thread makes this publication just incredibly balanced.

See publication on vimeo here


Sol & Luna
ISBN 978-91-86269-24-1

On assignment and initiative from Stockholm based men’s clothier Our Legacy and publisher Libraryman Co., Ltd. – photographer Viviane Sassen (b.1972 Dutch) has completed a specially made and well-built series of imagery with androgyny and beauty as the key principle.

Hardcover, 20 x 30cm (8 x 12 inches)
32 pages, b/w offset
First Edition
Printed in an edition of 300 copies,
numbered, stamped and signed
Printed in Sweden
Produced by Our Legacy 1980-81
Published by Libraryman Co., Ltd.
Design by Konst & Teknik


A day in the life of
ISBN 978-91-86269-04-3
12 cm x 18 cm. 32 pages
Black/white offset printed softcover

In the limited edition series A Day in the Life of… photographers are portraying a day in their lives, fiction as non-fiction.
The fifth publication is completed by Amsterdam based artist Viviane Sassen (b. 1972, Dutch) who put together a sequence of pictures done with a digital point-and-shoot during a day in Marsa Alam, Egypt, where she spent a holiday with her family.

First edition of 300 copies, numbered and signed.


ISBN 978-88-6965-139-7

Shot in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana, the ‘Flamboya’ photographs stand as paradigmatic for Sassen’s new way of looking at Africa –one devoid of sentimentality and that through poetical metaphors acknowledges the challenges and drawbacks of its complex reality.
Without giving up figurative means, Sassen went on developing a visual language that questions the stereotypes about Africa and ethnic otherness.

9 1/2” x 12”
24 x 30 cm
96 pages
46 colour photographs
Design: SYB, the Hague
Short story by Moses Isegawa
Essay by Edo Dijksterhuis