Profile photo of Sem Langendijk


Sem Langendijk (1990, NL) grew up in Amsterdam's Westerdok and still lives and works in Amsterdam. In his documentary photography practice, he focuses primarily on portraying places and communities, exploring what connects people to their surroundings and what gives a place meaning and character. He works primarily analogue with slow, technical cameras, typical of the contemplative observation of the environment in which Langendijk finds himself.

He began his photographic research on the re-development of former port areas as a graduation project at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague in 2015, and in the following years, he released the three-part publication The Docklands Project, focusing on the gentrification and privatisation of docklands in Amsterdam, London and New York. He brought the material from this long-term research together in 2022 in his publication Haven (The Eriskay Connection), in which the different cities merge into a penetrating documentary reflection on the process and effects of gentrification.

Girl with big nose ring a lip piercing and dreads
Summer, 2018Sem Langendijk.
House with mirrors a blue wall and a pink door on the lake
Untitled, 2017Sem Langendijk.
High buildings with natural sunlight
Canary Wharf, 2019 Sem Langendijk.
Sem Langendijk, interviewed by Olivia Hingley for It's Nice That (21 Sept 2022)

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Available at Foam Editions

Untitled I, London, 2018
Inkjet print
40 x 32 cm
Edition of 15 + 2AP
Signed and numbered on a separate label

Who owns the city? In his research project Haven, Sem Langendijk attempts to capture the environment of his youth: a place that no longer exists. Haven examines the environments of different port cities in various phases of transition, highlighting the transformation of disused docklands and the communities that reside there — showing not only a process of urban development but also of social exclusion.

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Untitled I, London, 2018 © Sem Langendijk, courtesy of the artist