Free Fall Exhibition by Vanessa Van Houten

by Julius Kensan
28th February 2018
A solo exhibition by photographer Vanessa Van Houten, Free Fall highlights the quiet and evocative beauty in vulnerability.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” is etched on the wall before visitors step into the exhibition space of “Free Fall”. And it is this statement that sets the tone for the entire exhibit. A solo exhibition by photographer Vanessa Van Houten, “Free Fall” is about the quiet and evocative beauty in vulnerability.

Divided into two sections: “Raw” and “Here*Now”, Vanessa peers into the lives of her subjects under two different contexts. In “Raw”, visitors are confronted with images of subjects at their most unguarded moments. A young girl stares out of the frame with teary eyes. A man, slack-jawed with glassy stare, recalling memories that visitors can only imagine. Each image is accompanied with a handwritten note that recounts their personal stories, from the departure of cherished family members to pets.

“In a time where many talk about diversity and differences, I was keen to examine what binds us together,” said Vanessa. Thus in “Here*Now”, she photographed various individuals from different walks of life twice, once in their favourite clothes and another draped in white piece of cloth specially created by Chitra Subyakto from Sejauh Mata Memandang for the project.

From artist Akhadi Wira Satriaji of Slank, fashion designer Tri Handoko, to young entrepreneurs and sex workers, Vanessa presents her subjects in their marked individuality before revealing the intimacy and tenderness that bind all of them together (Visitors are able to scan the QR code under each image for their stories).

At first glance, “Raw” and “Here*Now” may appear to be tackling two different objectives. But under the umbrella of “Free Fall” exhibition, it’s a telling sign that Vanessa is highlighting the raw universal emotions embedded within each individual that ultimately make us human.


Free Fall is open for public until 18th of March 2018 at Art:1 Museum from Tuesday to Saturday at 10am-6pm, Sunday at 10am-4pm and closed on every Monday.

For more info about Art:1 Museum, visit or their Instagram at @art1newmuseum.

To purchase a copy “Raw” and “Here*Now”, visit