Wijnanda Deroo usually photographs interiors. She finds them everywhere: in hotels, mobile homes, synagogues and cafes. She records these places in a specific manner: intelligibly and in detail, but without people. Yet the images provide lots of information about the users. The design, colors and wear suggest a function, age and history. Because of the absence of people, these traces of life provoke an air of mystery, sometimes even menace. This comes through all the more clearly in the interiors that Deroo photographed on Sumatra, Java and Bali, places that have been associated with mystical forces for ages. The architecture in INDONESIA (2005) shows traces of Dutch colonialism, but likewise is redolent of Indonesian culture.
Since she began to photograph in 1977 Wijnanda Deroo (The Netherlands, b. 1955) has concentrated on interiors. She particularly seeks out historic places, such as abandoned synagogues and Ellis Island, in New York harbor. She alternates between living in The Netherlands and the United States
A review : Interiors features 16 new photographs by Dutch artist Wijnanda Deroo. An international traveler with a camera as her companion rather than a guide book, Wijnanda Deroo explores the shared humanity imprinted upon the environments we inhabit. Her photographs, although from geographically disparate locales, including Indonesia, Berlin, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Sharon Springs, New York are unified by their sumptuous colors, formal geometries, and quotidian subject matter. More so than the locations of the sites depicted, the motif or palette have defined Deroo's work across her career. What has often been termed commonplace in the photographs, may in fact be better calledcommon places of repose. Deroo's camera settles on bedrooms, foyers, cafés and waiting rooms, familiar tableaux in which hours are passed with routine nonchalance. Yet the images never transcend time: the inescapable affect of natural light and the ubiquity of windows and doors are portals to the exterior world. While promoting ambiguities with regards to time and place, Deroo's photographs invite implicit connections between images. Taken together, the accumulated evidence and melancholic beauty become traces that "[point] to a secret, to something hidden beyond what is visible." (Perspektief #30, Rudy Kousbroek)