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Beijing based photographer and curator Ruben Lundgren graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2011. He made a name within the conceptual photography duo WassinkLundgren with publications as Empty Bottles (2007) and Tokyo Tokyo (2010). FOAM showed a retrospect of their work in 2013.


He works as a photojournalist for Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant and as an independent curator of Chinese photography. Together with Martin Parr he co-edited The Chinese Photobook (2015). Other publications include Hlleo? (2018) and MeNu (2018) a tasty collection of Chinese vernacular food photography.


As a guest curator of BredaPhoto 2020 he curated China Imagined offering 24 contemporary photography projects from China including the sticker album Wow Taobao. In 2021 he edited the book Ellen Thorbecke: From Peking to Paris, and published Real Dreams with his journalistic works made all over China.

His photographs and books are collected by various private and public collections and have also been exhibited at international galleries and museums including FOAM photography museum (Amsterdam), The Archive of Modern Conflict (London) and Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (Beijing).

Can I ask you something?

Sure you can! There are a few questions that have been asked to me before, you might be lucky to find your question below. If not, feel free to send me a message.

Why China?

I've had an interest in China since my bachelor degree study. The first time I visited the country was in January 2005 with the excuse of a graduation project. I started my master studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007 mainly out of curiosity. It felt like jumping in a swimming pool without being able to swim, but in some kind of way it felt pretty good. Misunderstandings between the West and China are fascinating to me. After my study photography I build up a social and professional network that felt like home, so I stayed.

How tall are you?

I am 200 cm tall. And no, I dont play basketball and the weather is fine up here. Check this

Can I organize an exhibition with your works?

Yes! I would be happy to work with you to create a bespoke exhibition. For an impression of previous designs and available concepts, view different examples within the exhibitions section on this site. For more information about available exhibitions and artist fee (I do have to pay my rent) please submit a message at the contact page.

Do you also give talks?

I do. I love discussing my own projects as well as projects I have curated in the past. One of my favorite topics is the Chinese Photobook history. I can seriously talk about it for hours.

Recent interviews

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photography of china
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Ellen Thorbecke review
ruben lundgren real dreams photobook
06 OneIroSpace Beijing, April 2023.JPG


Ruben Lundgren 鲁小本


Born 1983, Hilversum, the Netherlands.

Based in Beijing



2007 - 2011
Central Academy of Fine Arts, MA Photography, Beijing, PR China

2001 - 2005
Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, BA Photography, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Selected exhibitions



NL Imagined (curator), Goethe Institute, Hongkong, China



Hide and Seek, Being Art Museum, Shanghai, China

NL Imagined (curator), Fosun Foundation, Chengdu, China

Extra Ordinary, Special Edition Project, Shanghai, China

Anything That Flies, abC bookfair, Shanghai, China

NL Imagined (curator), Three Shadows Photography Centre Beijing, China


The Horizon, Jimei x Arles international photofestival, Xiamen, China

NL Imagined (curator), Shanghai Centre of Photography

Anything That Flies, abC bookfair, Beijing and Hangzhou, China


China Dreams, Museum Hilversum, the Netherlands

Ellen Thorbecke's China, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

China seen through a shopping cart 2003-2021, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

The Photography is Not Whats Important, CAFA Museum, Beijing, China

China under the Foreign Gaze, Jiaxing Library, China

Fleeting Media. Publishing Post-Photography, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland


China Imagined, BredaPhoto, Breda, the Netherlands

Anything that walks, vernacular food photography from China, JimeixArles photofestival, Xiamen, China
Hlleo?, Artu space, Beijing, China

Brokenice: 160118 - 170811, Jimei x Arles photofestival, Xiamen, China

The Chinese Photobook, Lianzhou Photofestival, Lianzhou, China

The Chinese Photobook, The Photographers Gallery, London
The Chinese Photobook, Ullens Contemporary Center for Art, Beijing
The Chinese Photobook, Aperture, New York
Festival Circulations, Centquatre, Paris

L'art Sel Livre, Musée des Beaux Arts, Switzerland
Post Photography, Pékin Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing
The Chinese Photobook, Les Rencontres d'Arles, France
Art Brussels, Marion de Canniere, Antwerp (art fair)
Photo Shanghai, Pékin Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing (art fair)

A different kind of order, International Center of Photography, New York
Don't Smile Now... Save it for Later! Montréal Arts Interculturels, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Canada
Unseen Photo Fair, Lucid-Ly Project Space, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (art fair) (solo)
Dual Perspectives. Gallery Marion de Cannière, Antwerp, Belgium
One Group Show, Suzhou Jinji Lake Museum of Art, curated by Feng Boyi, Suzhou, China (solo)
One Group Show, Foam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)

Singles, Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing (solo)
Paris Photo, Pékin Fine Arts, Paris, France (art fair)
Unseen Photo Fair, Van Zoetendaal Collections, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (art fair) (solo)
Fotodok, Flatland Gallery, Utrecht
The Dutch Photobook, Dutch Photo Museum, Rotterdam
State of the Art Photography, NRW Forum, Dusseldorf
Uncommon Ground, Flowers Gallery, London

Tokyo Tokyo, Huis voor de Beeldcultuur, Breda, The Netherlands (solo)
Other I, Hotshoe Gallery, London
Hinterhalt, Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany
CAFA Excellent students, aaaaaaao~, CAFA Museum, Beijing, China
Neko Jita, Tokyo Tokyo, Quartair, The Hague, The Netherlands
Dutch Doc Awards, Tokyo Tokyo, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Empty Bottles, Quad, Format Festival, Derby, United Kingdom
Tokyo Tokyo, Van Zoetendaal Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)

China, New Media Art, China Academy Awards, Nanjing, China
Water, Caochangdi PhotoSpring, Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China
We Are The World, Dutch Culture Centre, World Expo, Shanghai, China
Quick Scan, Dutch Photo Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Don't Smile Now... Save it for Later! De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)

We Are The World, Three Shadows Photography Art Space, Beijing, China
About Now, Message Salon Downtown, Zurich, Switzerland
Parrworld, Baltic, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Parrworld, Jeu de Paume, Paris
Don't Smile Now... Save it for Later! Photofestival Naarden, The Netherlands
Animalism, National Media Museum, Bradford, United Kingdom
Lu Xiao Ben, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China (solo)
PRINTED MATTER from the Collection, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland

Other Asias, Nolias Gallery, London, United Kingdom
India Express, De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
GD4ART, Bologna, Italy
Parrworld, Designmuseum, Breda, The Netherlands
MA Degree Show, Central Saint Martins, London, United Kingdom
Chinese Biennial, Beijing, PR China
The Tomorrow People, Elevator Gallery, London, United Kingdom
New Typologies, New York Photo Festival, New York (USA)
Parrworld, Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany
FW: Pages, book exhibition, Rotterdam (NL) and Budapest (H)

Fw: Miscellaneous, SBK, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Empty Bottles, Foam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
34,5 m2 - WassinkLundgren, De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)

De: Amsterdam, L'espace Bellevaux, Lausanne, Switzerland
Teen Facts in Beeld, Science Center NEMO, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Foto Drukwerk, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



Dream Machine


Anything That Flies


Real Dreams

Ellen Thorbecke from Peking to Paris


Wow Taobao

China Imagined






The Chinese Photobook (second edition)

The Chinese Photobook (first edition)


Tout Paris


Tokyo Tokyo
Lu Xiaoben


Empty Bottles (Chinese Edition)
Hans Kemna: Catalogue

Empty Bottles (second edition)
Empty Bottles (first edition)

WassinkLundgren is still searching

Sint Gregoriushuis
Shanghai Forest

Awards and nominations

Best Independent Photo Exhibition, Lishui Photo Festival, China

Paul Huf Award nomination, Foam Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Paul Huf Award nomination, Foam Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kees Scherer Award, short listed for best photobook 2009/2010, Naarden, The Netherlands
Dutch Doc Award short listed, best documentary project of 2010, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Flash Forward UK winner, Canada
Paul Huf Award nomination, Foam Amsterdam, The Netherlands

China Academy Award
Photography Now Award
Work grant, the Netherlands Foundation for Fine Arts (Fonds BKVB), for exhibition in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou

Thieme Art Award, nomination, Art Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Work grant, the Netherlands Foundation for fine Arts (Fonds BKVB)
Work grant, Sem Presser Foundation

Nomination for best book 2007/2008 by Thomas Weski, Kasseler Fotoforum
Incentive grant, the Netherlands Foundation for fine Arts (Fonds BKVB)

Work grant, the Netherlands Foundation for fine Arts (Fonds BKVB)
Prix du Livre for Empty Bottles, Arles, France
Nomination for GD4ART International Competition, Italy

European Newspaper Award (front page) for the Festival cover of Amsterdam Weekly

Incentive grant, the Netherlands Foundation for fine Arts (Fonds BKVB)
Nomination 'Piet Bakker prijs', Utrecht School of the Arts
Nomination 'Kunstanjers', Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds

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