Paul Cupido — Searching for Mu (cum laude) (2017)


The idea of Mu goes beyond having to choose. In translation its meaning comes close to ‘does not have’. Searching for Mu — taking shape in photographs, film clips, sound and folded paper — is tantamount to a quest. I have journeyed nearly as far away from home as possible, nevertheless, a journey outward equally means an exploration of our inner selves. A journey inward searching for acceptance that life comes to an end, yet at the same time knowing that life is circular, starting over time and again.



The days and months are travellers of eternity, just like the years that come and go. Each day is a journey, and the journey itself is home ~ Matsuo Bashō




2013-2017 Fotoacademie, Amsterdam (cum laude) (NL)

2016 Magnum Tokyo Workshop with Antoine d’Agata (JP)

2016 LFI Hamburg Worskhop with Jacob Aue Sobol (DE)


EXHIBITIONS (selection)

2018 Festival Internacional de Fotografia Paraty em Foco (BR)

2018 Athens Photo Festival 2018 APhF:18 (GR)

2018 Waterlanders, Amsterdam (special benefit) (NL)

2018 Haute Photographie, Fotografiska, Stockholm (SE)

2018 Haute Photographie, Rotterdam (NL)

2017 New Dutch Photo Talent 2018 at 5&33 Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)

2017 Window Of Wonder at Tipi Bookshop, Brussels (BE)

2017 Photography and the Artist Book: First Edition, Atlanta (US)

2017 Robert Capa Center, Budapest (HU)

2017 First Editions, Foam, Amsterdam (NL)

2017 Back to Paradise, DeelenArt, Rotterdam (NL)

2017 Belfast Photo Festival (Artist Residence Winner) (UK)

2017 REVEAL — Graduation Exhibition Fotoacademie, Loods 6, Amsterdam (NL)

2016 Tokyo Institute of Photography, Tokyo (JP)

2016 Het Oog, Amsterdam (NL)



2017 Window Of Wonder, Tipi Bookshop (BE)

2017 New Dutch Talent 2018 (NL)

2017 Juror’s Choice Award in the HARIBAN AWARD 2017 (JP)

nominated by RongRong & Inri / Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

2017 HARIBAN AWARD Shortlist / Finalist (JP)

2017 Artist Residence Winner Belfast Photo Festival (UK)



2018 LabVerde Art Immersion Program in the Amazon (BR)

2017 Docking Station / Belfast Photo Festival (UK)



2017 Searching for Mu — 106 pages offset, 20 x 26 cm, 200 copies

2016 Suave — zine selfcover 12 x 18 cm, 10 copies



International Center of Photography, New York City (US)

Foam First Editions (NL)

Van Lanschot Art collection (NL)



2018 Haute Photographie Rotterdam

2017 Benrido HARIBAN AWARD

2017 REVEAL — Fotoacademie graduation catalogue



2018 GUP #57 (NL)

2018 GUP New Photography Talent 2018 / editorial front cover (NL)

2017 Dodho Magazine (PT)

2017 Origine Magazine (NL)

2017 Kiekie Krant (NL)



Paul Cupido

1972, Terschelling, the Netherlands


Short biography

The photographic work of Paul Cupido (b. 1972, the Netherlands) revolves around the principle of mu: a philosophical concept that could be translated as ‘does not have’, but is equally open to countless interpretations. Mu can be considered a void, albeit one that holds potential.


Cupido’s ongoing photographic project Searching for Mu is both a personal and universal exploration of the ephemeral in everything and our most profound emotional experiences: love, time, death. Rather than objective documents, his photographs are transcendent reflections of the inner soul, in which all things intermingle.


In 2017, Cupido graduated cum laude from the Fotoacademie Amsterdam with the first part of Searching for Mu. The eponymous photobook was self-published that same year to great acclaim. In addition, FOAM Amsterdam selected his work for their First Editions. He was awarded an artist’s residency at the Belfast Photo Festival and the Hariban Juror’s Choice Award. GUP Magazine included his work in their publication New Dutch Photography Talent 2018. Cupido participated in the Haute Photographie fair in Rotterdam (NL) and Stockholm (SE).


Artist Statement

I aim to engage with the world with wide-open senses. My work is concerned with magic moments, about dealing with inconveniences, about taking pictures while forgetting the process of photography, until I’m infused with an existential sense of life. It begins with the notion of ‘mono no aware’, the transience of everything, the gentle melancholy of things, a sensitivity to ephemera.