Layered Beauty

By Tanja Houwerzijl

Tanja evolved her visual style into analogue collage making. Her collages consist mostly of vintage Japanese materials, i.e. handmade paper, old photographs, schoolbooks and magazines. She collects from antique markets, bookstores and online sellers in Japan. Tanja likes to deconstruct materials and then cut or tear apart before layering and gluing together into a collage to give the images a completely new meaning.

Most of Houwerzijl collages have Japanese women as a subject matter. From women in kimono’s, Japanese movie stars, JK girls or housewives, for Tanja it is all material to express her personal feelings towards this female theme.


50 hand cut collages exhibited at Photography Gallery “Place M” in Shinjuku (Tokyo).

From April 26 – May 2.

Open from 12pm to 7pm.


Tanja Houwerzijl (1971) moved from her native Netherlands to Japan in 2004.

Tanja started out as a photographer, trying to capture the visual energy and cultural differences in Tokyo’s fast-paced urban setting compared to the laidback Amsterdam life she left behind. She has been part of several exhibitions in Tokyo.

Later she focused more on contributing her photographs to Foreign Media to address social issues and visual stories about Japanese current affairs. 

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Story edited by Alejandra Martinez