Born in Malle in 1989, Tomas Bachot, is a visual storyteller. Mostly the topics that interest him are the outcome of his journalistic background and personal relations.
He graduated with the greatest honours as Master in Visuals Arts (photography) at School of Arts/KASK, Ghent. He works and lives in Sint-Antonius Zoersel (Belgium) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania). This year, Tomas was selected by FOMU (Foto Museum in Antwerp) to be part of .tiff magazine, a future – oriented, annual showcase of young Belgian talent. His book Those who eat fish from the cyanide lake improve their sex life was present at different international photography festivals in Belgium, France, Poland, Italy and The Netherlands.
“Those who eat fish from the cyanide lake improve their sex life.” These comforting words, spoken by the mayor of a Romanian village to Tomas Bachot, sparked the project of the same name. What had started as a photo-documentary about the reopening of the Romanian gold mines turned into an investigation into the nature of documentary photography itself.
Tomas Bachot approaches his subjects and the people that he photographs with great integrity and personal involvement. He rejects the bias of so-called “objectivity”. His lens is focused “among the people” and he delves deeply into the goldmine of visuals that results. Bachot is not afraid to make personal relationships. For this series, he travelled in a bus from Belgium to Romania with the people he photographed, sleeping in their living rooms rather than in hotels. By allowing himself to be guided by their perspectives, he shifted the boundaries of his own perceptions.
His photography is a house of mirrors in which the photographer and the subjects question each other continually, thereby providing oxygen to the reality behind the image. He digs under the skin of his subject but also beneath the many layers of his role as a photographer. Bachot’s narratives testify to his power as a photographic storyteller. For the twists and turns and mysteries of life, and for the imagination of the viewer, he demonstrates a warranted respect. (text by Anna Luyten for their annual .tiff Magazine published by Foto Museum in Antwerp)