Satijn Panyigay

Satijn Panyigay (1988, Nijmegen) is a half Dutch, half Hungarian photographer. Her work has a clear style and specific themes. Panyigay handles subjects like transience, emptiness and solitude. She has a fascination for the dark side of life and with her aesthetic eye she shows us there’s also beauty to be found in the grim and dark.

The melancholic photo series Behind Death’s Door shows the houses of recently deceased people of whom the relatives chose a specialised company to clear out their homes. Panyigay went along several times to investigate death more. The photos are hermetic, there is no contact with the outside world, which results in an oppressive atmosphere of loneliness and nostalgia.

In her entire body of work Satijn Panyigay is inspired by transience and trying to cope with losses and heavy feelings, but also her longing for tranquility and her lust for life are important themes to her.

This also applies to her newest photo series, Melankólia. For this project she went searching for her roots in the country her father originates from, Hungary. When she was there, she fell in love with the country, its drabness and gloom and discovered that it must be the origin of her often melancholic heart. The atmosphere, which is so palpable in the places she visited in Hungary, refers back to her familiar melancholy. In dark colours Panyigay photographed sober spaces and places that refer to the feelings of loneliness and sadness. With capturing silence in seemingly impersonal in- and exteriors she shows a contaminated emptiness. She searches for images that show tranquility together with a depth. A certain heavy vision on the ordinary, but without wanting to fight that. A new development in her work is admitting sunlight, creating subtle hope and wonder that shine through. A Hungarian proverb says: ‘The Hungarian has fun when he cries’. That familiarity with heaviness is an ongoing theme in Satijn Panyigay’s work.

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