Museum of Cultures | EXHIBITION ARCHIVE
Scenes and Settings - Architectural Photographs with Human Beings (and Some Animals)...
25.11.2009 - 21.2.2010
"People are nowhere to be seen in architectural photography; buildings are examined as pristine forms and compositions; a living creature behaving unpredictably has no place in this genre.
To me, architectural significance manifests itself in a different way - in situations, in the experience of corporeality, mental reactions to the sensory realities of space and substance, to the presence of one's self and fellow human beings. Architecture is someone sitting on his or her front steps, peeking out a window, hesitating on a staircase. The mediating space between one's own nest and the outside world determines the genuine quality of architecture. Within this encounter - the simultaneity of intensity, intimacy and dignity - also resides the possibility of beauty.
My pictures are also encounters. More often than not they are based on eye contact and a silent agreement with the subject being photographed - I have never considered the classical street photographer's "hunter" mentality my own. "The decisive moment" is not the click of the shutter, but the nod of approval that precedes it. From the perspective of those being photographed, I am just an other Western tourist, intruding with his camera, whose intentions make little sense; the subjects' goodwill is a condition for the entire photographic event."
"The exhibition's photographs were taken on my trips in Asia made during the last ten years. I have gravitated towards places where age-old building types are still a natural part of the daily habitat, and people are at one with their surroundings. Building techniques refined over thousands of years have evolved on the terms of local - often limited - resources, a logical consequence of various kinds of natural conditions. The population explosion, global homogenisation and the merciless laws of the monetary economy are rapidly destroying the spectrum of this built human phenomenon. Diversity is disappearing, and with it the fundamentally similar "feeling at home" that the people in these very different environments exude.
My pictures' viewpoint is perhaps idealistic, romantic and aesthetic. The choise is conscious - the imagery of alienation and ugliness already has enough interpreters.
Naturally the authentic experience of architecture cannot be conveyed by photographic means, but some traces of a momentary presence - slices of a moment - can be captured in an image. From these pieces, like building blocks of a sort, I assemble my own mental landscape and worldview.
Welcome to my world."
- Jouni Kaipia
There are slightly less than one hundred photographs in the exhibition; all but one were taken during the years 1998-2008. The images are from Bangladesh, Burma, India, Japan, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam. The photographs have been assembled into ten thematic entities:
House & Garden
A Room with a View
Incontro alla Porta d'Oro
The World on My Doorstep
The photographs are pigment inkjet printouts on rag paper mounted on wood panels
Image processing: Timo Kirves
Lighting design: Kimmo Karjunen
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