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Photographer Sonja Mercedes names her faves

Her urge to capture everything around her brought Rotterdam-based Sonja Mercedes Oost to the world of photography. What began as a desire for tangible memories soon grew into the core of her work. She recently graduated from NAVB and is exhibiting with May we keep in touch at the Groot Handelsgebouw and participating in Haute Photographie as a Rotterdam talent. Plenty of reasons to ask her about her tips.

Groot Handelsgebouw

''May we times in touch is a spatial exhibition where I combine personal texts with photographic images of loved ones. Printed on canvases that fill the space and which you can walk through. The show is about intimacy and specifically how we touch each other. With the digital age we live in and the aftermath of the pandemic, I noticed a decline in physical contact. The innocence with which I touched as a child has been replaced by a more conscious way of interacting. I explored different rapports and the nuances of physical contact within those relationships. Again, how we touch our parents differs from how we feel our loved ones, how I cuddle my little nieces is different from how I hug my friends when I haven't seen them for a long time. All these forms of touch fall under a universal language that I am afraid of losing. Hence, with this work, I want to open the conversation and invite the viewer to feel again. The expo is free to see until April. I will also be present myself from time to time. Should you visit the show I am always open for a conversation!''

Haute Photographie in the Keilepand

''During Rotterdam Art Week, Haute Photographie organises in Keilepand, a photographic art fair with the allure of a museum. With walls that float through the space, as it were, you can discover work by many diverse photographers. This is the first year that I participate in the fair as a talent and thus get to present my work. Although in previous years I have always visited as a visitor. It is a good stage for established and emerging photographers and a source of inspiration for any creative person. Artibooks sells art books and I have already taken home many different books myself!''

Walls that seem to float through space at Haute Photographie

Toko Jeanny

''Indonesian (takeaway) restaurant that is definitely worth a visit. Many an Indonesian would say this joint tastes like home. With several dishes on the menu, it is also suitable for vegetarians. Does sit a bit on the outskirts of Rotterdam on Teldersweg. But the delicious food more than makes up for the trip.''


''At this cinema, they run a wide range of films. Arthouse lovers are well catered for here. In the evening, you can go to Niko, a restaurant with comfort food on the menu and again completely veg-friendly. The restaurant area stays open for a long time. So I myself have spent many evenings here chatting about the film over a drink.''

Arthouse lovers will do well at KINO


''Especially in summer, it is cosy. With multiple eating spots and fun walking routes, there is something to do on every corner. There is a creative gathering place with studios and semi-public spaces but also many entertainment venues. I love coming here with my friends. In summer, you can hang out on the terrace of Biergarten or go out in the evening. Nearby are Bird, Poing, Mono or Time is the new space. Nice spots for an evening and night out.''

Biergarten by Guido Pijper

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