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Horse Head - By Frederik Buyckx

6 years ago

It's safe to say Frederik Buyckx has had quite a successful 2017. He was shortlisted in the 2017 ZEISS Photography Award with his series 'Horse Head', and was also announced as Professional Photographer of the Year at the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, scooping the $25k prize fund. 

Frederik was born in 1984 in Antwerp, Belgium. He received a Master’s Degree in Advertising Design at St-Lucas Antwerp and studied photography until 2013 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. Frederik became a freelance photographer in 2010. 

Text by Frederik Buyckx

The project Horse Head arose during my first trip in Kyrgyzstan. I ended up in a small village where the weekly game of Kok Boru was going on. In this traditional game the men on horses fight over the carcass of a dead sheep. After the game they invited me to join them for dinner, and some vodka, and I ended up staying more than a week in the village. This way I discovered and experienced the exceptional way of living of these semi-nomadic shepherds and the close connection they still have with their horses.

After 2 months I returned again to continue my project, this time during the harsh winter in the mountains where most of the shepherds live.

It gave me a deep respect for their job, to go out with their herd of sheep, day after day, with average temperatures of -20 degrees celsius, fighting against wind, ice and snow.