The Kindness of One

Every moment contains multiple possibilities, though sometimes we cannot feel it. Small decisions, small gestures, and small actions ripple outwards from our bodies into the lives of others, collapsing the many possibilities into the determination of reality. With a casual and careless stroke, we can crush the spirit of another in passing without any awareness of having done so. Equally, we can unknowingly radiate to others the inspiration and joy to live another day. Our deepest acts of both cruelty and kindness may in fact be invisible to us.  
In The Kindness of One, photographer Margaret Lansink and poet Rene van Hulst contemplate the great potential within a single person’s act of kindness. The couple were inspired by events in 1940, during World War II, in which thousands of Jewish people were trapped in Kaunas, Lithuania between the advancing German troops and the Russian army taking over the Baltic states. On July 24th, the Dutch counsel in Kaunas, Jan Zwartendijk, took personal action and, even though he did not know the Jewish refugees, began to issue visas. In only two weeks, he issued 2,345 visas and saved the lives of more than 6,000 people. The Japanese counsel of Kaunas, Sugihara, likewise issued visas that enabled the people to travel through Russia and reach Japan by boat.
Compared to the scale of history, most days in modern life are banal, filled with administrative tasks like checking email, doing office work, and running household errands. Yet what is a visa but some small piece of administration?
In her black and white images, Lansink traces the feeling of everyday saviours like Zwartendijk through an intuitive view of Kaunas and Japan. She mixes scenes from ordinary daily life with shots of blurred confusion, and layered scenes with reflections that hold us apart from what we see. In his series of short poems, van Hulst muses on the potential of our human existence: we are all afraid and alone, together. In combination, the photographs and words dwell in the possibility of any given moment for a person to choose fear, apathy, and anger, or to choose compassion and kindness. Gently, they urge for kindness.
Katherine Oktober Matthews

photography: margaret lansink
poetry: rene van hulst

design: akiko wakabayashi
lithography: marc gijzen
production: drukkerij tielen, boxtel
publisher: kaunas photography gallery in cooperation with wewest

Margaret and Rene would like to thank the team of the Kaunas Photography Gallery for their energy and perseverance in making this book happen, especially Gintaras Cesonis for his belief in  the importance of our story. Furthermore the people of Shiro Oni Studio in Onishi Japan for our wonderful residence, especially Yoji Matsumura for his teaching  of the Japanese language and  the principles of Wabi Sabi.

Price: € 37,= excl. shipping

Please choose your way of shipping

The book can be shipped after the ‘Official Launch’ at Kaunas Photo Gallery Lithuania on October 20th

Especially for the exhibition at IBASHO Antwerp I’ve created a Japanese style handbound book 'Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend' printed on 120 um/ 45 gs Washi paper. A small paper collage, mended with 23 Kt. goldleaf, is mounted in the signed book. The book comes in an edition of 50 copies and will be released during the vernissage.
Very happy and honored that Victoria & Albert Museum London has acquired this book for their special collections.

Special Edition:
Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend                    
Handmade book on Ise Washi 45 gs / 120 um paper. Handmade  / 23 spreads - 30 images & 1 collage 14x15 cm Signed & numbered 50 copies /  also available at IBASHO Antwerp
Size: 15 cm x 20 cm Year: 2019

€ 125,= incl. Kizuki Washi paper collage & 23 Kt. Goldleaf

only 1 book left, which can be purchased at Ibasho Gallery


Borders of Nothingness
Leporello in black giftbox: 32 BW images
First edition - Handmade  
Signed & numbered
25 copies /  

Size: 14,5 cm x 10 cm
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Book & Album 220 gsm
Year: 2018



During Antwerp Art Weekend my series “Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend” will be exhibited at Ibasho Gallery in Antwerp.

The new handmade book on Japanese Washi Paper & covered with a collage and 23 Kt. goldleaf will be released at the opening.
Edition of only 50 pieces.
Price for this special edition: € 125,=.

For ordering “Borders of Nothingness - On the Mend” 

Fear no more
Book: 90 pages BW & 6 separate color prints
Limited first edition: 15 copies

size: 28 cm x 22 cm
Year: 2017
price incl. shipping to Europe
please contact me if you’re outside Europe


Fear no more ARTIST BOOK
Book: 98 pages BW & 5 color pages

Limited first edition: 10 copies
7 copies left

Cover: Japanese silk with imprint
size: 26 cm x 20 cm
Year: 2016, made in collaboration with LeMasterklass Paris (Klavdij Sluban and Nestan Nijaradze)

please contact me if you’re interested