Lampoon, Snow, Arturo+Bamboo
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Adults at play – Dutch photographers Arturo and Bamboo, a view from the top: the Alps

Arturo and Bamboo’s photographic collection, Snow, doesn’t reflect the bluntness of its name. Their photographs are warm despite the winter mountainscapes and Alpine scenery

Being shot by two lovers. Captured by the Dutch couple Arthur Groeneveld and Bamboo Von Kampen over six years of trips to the Alps. It wasn’t until four years later that they decided to turn their habitual photographing and documenting into their fourth publication.

Together they marry the cosmopolitan and the natural elements of the Alps. It is a love letter to the towns they visited, St Moritz, Zermatt, Gstaad, and Cortina D’Ampezzo. The couple’s perspective is singular as both partaker and onlooker. Snow evokes a realist and romanticist image of the Alps.  

Becoming Arturo and Bamboo 

The couple operated as a unit. When they met ten years ago, it was winter in Amsterdam, and they were not aware they were to become photographers. The film cameras they shoot with have been compiled on their many trips as if by kismet, buying them from markets at their various destinations. 

«We were not photographers before we met. Arthur worked in art direction, and I worked in hair. We shared a love for the arts. We started capturing our first trip. I took an old camera with me with old black and white film, and we started to shoot our first trip together to Ibiza, it had only fifteen images on the film. We became enthralled in it and started to document everything around us. In the end, we compiled Summer Diary. Then it took off. We worked together as a photographer; we had never experienced working separately from one another. It is the only thing we’re used to. Communication is crucial. At times it’s stressful. It is some people’s biggest nightmare. But, for us, life is short, and we feel lucky. Work goes well, and we can’t imagine doing anything different». 

Lampoon, Funivia Faloria, Cortina d'Ampezzo – Snow, Arturo+Bamboo
Funivia Faloria, Cortina d’Ampezzo – Snow, Arturo+Bamboo

Together under the alias Arturo and Bamboo, the couple have self-published four different images: previously Summer Diary, Red Moon, and Privé. Each publication derives from the same tranquil lens and shares the same intimacy and rawness.

«It began as something we did for fun that we didn’t overthink about. After our first book, the media started to write seriously about our work. We were forced to deem ourselves a ‘photographer,’ which initially felt weird. After saying it a few times, suddenly, we become it. There is a moment when you are behind the camera, and you cannot think about anything else besides getting that shot. It is the ultimate moment that we work towards. When people ask us to shoot five hundred photos in one day on digital, we tell them we are not the right people. We don’t want to touch our images whenever we shoot on film. We embrace imperfection ».  

With the spring comes an onslaught of new work opportunities for the pair as the industry connects them to their previous projects. They are ardent; the theme of the warmer seasons in their backlog is a mere coincidence, as Snow demonstrates. 

While they began capturing their travels and stays in different places, they became one another’s muse. «It’s nice for ourselves to have something tangible to look back on the first years we got together. Our goal is to make people travel with their minds, feel and smell these places and place themselves in the situation. It should be conveying that feeling we had there to other people. The nicest compliments are when people look at the images and feel they were there for a split second».

Visiting the Alps 

It is always evident that a person is behind the camera in Snow. Arturo and Bamboo are the authors that have allowed this voyeuristic glance into Alpine life. They come from experience, so they managed to delve into the mountaintop society seamlessly.  

«Our relationship with the Alps comes from Dutch culture. We both started skiing with family when we were young. It recalls a feeling of youthfulness and happiness for us. That’s why we keep on coming back. Bamboos’ mom was a ski instructor. My father was always taking us to the Alps. We would ski in the afternoon snowboard until the very last lift in the morning. If you take all the luxury away, you see people look relaxed, admire the landscape, and enjoy it almost like children again; they’re outside all day sporting and playing.

Often, we were working on a commercial project with a local team. We would shoot those passing by who happened to be the Italian police on skis. It’s very typical; it’s their daily life. For us as outsiders, it was remarkable to witness. We decided to focus on France, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy, the four European countries leading in winter sports and have the most history, then visit the legendary valleys and villages in each. The whole book was shot at the moment. It was all our own experience. Every shot we made was very personal; you can see it coming out of our hearts. It’s nothing commercial or staged. We had so many adventures from snowstorms, where you get lost in a hidden valley, to beautiful sunny days and meeting lovely people».

The cutting room

With so much of themselves ingrained in Snow, memories they have captured, curating and editing can be more of a challenge than the initial creation. «Snow is documentation of timeless beauty rather than a sharp digital brochure. It’s about a general feeling we try to convey, not the exact places. We try to show the beauty that’s part of it; nature, the soft lighting, the things you feel when you are there.

For the first few years, it was just natural. We were visiting the Alps for both personal and business trips and started to document it for ourselves without knowing we were going to make a book. It was a collection of images shot over a few years. Then we thought it would be an intriguing story to bundle together and make into a vintage-style ski catalog. Our initial book, Summer Diary, happened the same way. We had so many images we felt that putting everything online was one-dimensional. Everybody’s only on screens; printed materials feel so different; you save them somewhere else in your brain. 

The first thing our art director, Adam Ridgeway, told us was to take half of the images out of the selection. We have worked on this project for such a long time we cannot pinpoint each image to a camera or which photo was taken by who. They all blend to create a seamless collection of pictures. The thread is imperfection and haziness. It’s a product of the way we work. It was never intended. We wanted to show as broad as possible what we shot. A variety of people, places, and ourselves».

This cutthroat editing has come from previous experience in publishing. «We better understand what we are doing with a print project like Snow as we grow older. When we launched our first book, it was a nightmare and a dream at the same time; things went wrong». 

Lampoon, Tofana Freccia nel Cielo cable car, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Tofana Freccia nel Cielo cable car, Cortina d’Ampezzo

Widening horizons

Arturo and Bamboos’ eyes and aesthetics are ingrained in exploring new places. However, it is not about travel and fleeting moments; what entices the pair is adapting to new environments and the growth that comes with it.  

«In the last three years, we’ve lived in five or six countries. It’s not a holiday; we’re working and creating a life in these places. New places push our boundaries and introduce new horizons personally and for our work. These significant changes in scenery keep us sharp and inspired. We are trying to show the beauty of nature and this world to the viewer. Although there is so much ugly stuff going on in these times, you also need to see the beautiful things. 

Travel isn’t the motive; it’s about living in beauty. A charmed life for us can be the Alpine trips. A couple of weeks ago, we shot in Switzerland and Italy, then we were in Berlin, which is almost a parallel universe. It’s about the culture. We can be on a remote island for a couple of months together without seeing anybody, or we can go into the city of Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris and as quickly immerse ourselves into that lifestyle. We are always between those. It would be our dream to do both equally».

Arturo and Bamboo do not wish to be nestled in Europe. Following Covid, they have set their sights on taking their European eye to other continents. «We have been talking a lot about going to Japan. It will be beautiful to immerse ourselves in and document a vastly different culture. We dreamed of visiting Africa for a long time, and we did last summer for two months. We did an artist residency in Kenya, working with collage and photography. After Corona, it felt as though your own country or city was the furthest place you could go. Now things are opening. It’s good to think we can board a plane to Japan. 

We need to take a small break first after publishing Snow. Still, we are dreaming about what’s next. Nothing is concrete. We want to do something with the material we created in Africa. It was a particular chapter in our lives».

Arturo + Bamboo:

Arturo + Bamboo is the alias of Arthur Groeneveld and Bamboo van Kampen, a Dutch couple working together as a photography duo. They are based between Amsterdam, Paris, and the Mediterranean.

Lucy Vipond

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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