Quote: "Photography cannot do much. It provides some level of information, yet it has no pretensions about changing the world."

John Vink joined Magnum Photos in 1993 and became a full Member in 1997.

Belgian, b. 1948

John Vink studied photography at the fine arts school of La Cambre in Brussels, in 1968. He has been a freelance journalist since 1971.

Since the mid-1980s, Vink has dedicated much time to long-term projects, the first of which was on Italy, between 1984 and 1988. He came to public attention in 1986 when he was awarded the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for Waters in Sahel, a two-year documentary project on water management involving migrant and sedentary populations of the Niger, Mali, Burkina-Faso and Senegal.

Vink joined the Vu agency in Paris in 1986, then from 1987 to 1993 worked on Refugees in the World, an extensive statement about life in the refugee camps of India, Mexico, Thailand, Pakistan, Hungary, Iraq, Malawi, Bangladesh, Turkey, Sudan, Croatia, Honduras and Angola. The series was published in book and CD-ROM form and became the subject of an exhibition at the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris. In 1993 Vink became a nominee at Magnum Photos, and in 1997 a full member. From 1993 to 2000 he worked on Peuples d'en Haut, which chronicles community life in mountainous regions of Guatemala, Laos and the Georgian Caucasus.

Wishing to concentrate on one country instead of continually traveling and wanting to move away a little from the 'photographic scene', Vink has been based in Cambodia since 2000. He currently documents land issues all over Cambodia but also covers other social issues, including the Khmer Rouge trials.


1968 Photography, La Cambre University, Brussels


1986 W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography for "Waters from Sahel"


2006 Poids mouche - Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2005 Peuples d'en haut - Luang Prabang, Laos
2001 Can We Feed Ourselves - UN building, New York
1996 D'Autres Mondes - Gap, France
1995 Réfugiés - Espace Photo Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium; Fotomuseum,
Antwerp, Belgium; MSF/Foire du Livre de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
1994 Indochines - Galerie Focale, Nyon, Switzerland
1994 Réfugiés - Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France
1993 Best of - Galerie de V. Verhaeren, Brussels, Belgium
1990 Réfugiés - Triennale de Charleroi, France
1990 Eaux du Sahel – Almeria, Spain
1989 Italies - Expo Porte-Folio, Maison de la Culture d'Amiens, France
1988 Eaux du Sahel/Réfugiés - Belgisches Haus, Cologne, Germany; Overpoort,
Gent, Belgium
1987 La Petite Reine des Belges - Torino, Italy
1987 Le Tour de France - La Sellerie, Aurillac, France
1987 Eaux du Sahel - Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France
1986 Le Tour de France - Maison de la Culture, Amiens, France
1984 Photographie Ouverte -Charleroi, France; Galerie Contraste, Brussels, Belgium;
Galerij XYZ, Gent, Belgium
1979 I.S.E.L.P., Brussels
1977 Galerie Aspects, Brussels; Galerij t'Venster, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Breiting
Galerie, Berlin, Germany
1976 Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
1975 Wilde Fotogalerie, Cologne, Germany
1973 Wilde Fotogalerie, Cologne, Germany


2006 Poids Mouche, Editions du Mékong, Cambodia
2004 Peuples d’en haut, Editions Autrement, France
2000 Avoir 20 ans à Phnom Penh, Editions Alternatives, France
1994 Réfugiés, Centre National de la Photographie (avec la collaboration de Médecins
Sans Frontières), France


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(c) 《摄影比赛在中国》 2000-2001 制作