The Helsinki School - Internat and External Landscapes
Exhibition: 27 Jun – 9 Aug 2009
8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tues-Sat 11-19 . Sun 11-18
This year is the 90th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan, and it also happens to be Shiseido Gallery's 90th year. In light of these, Shiseido Gallery will be the first in Asia to conduct an exhibition introducing the photography of the "Helsinki School," which is currently among the vanguards of the European and American art scenes. Helsinki School is the name given to a loose group of teachers, students, and graduates dedicated to preserving the aesthetic approaches and thinking that have emerged from the teaching methodologies used at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. These were promoted originally by Timothy Persons, the guest curator of this exhibition, who joined the faculty as senior lecturer in 1982. The university teaches not a single, specific way of thinking, but rather an approach that allows diverse teachers to give full play to students' individual personalities. The curriculum teaches photographic technique and theory, but it also places strong emphasis on cultivating students who will be able to carry and represent themselves as professional artists after graduation. Emerging from this curriculum are photographs that highlight beautiful natural backgrounds, give play to the light and colors unique to northern Europe, and capture the sense of inner narrative running through these natural environments. In 1996, with the aim of supporting the activities of Helsinki School artists, the university launched Gallery TaiK, which hosts exhibitions and publishes collections in order to gain the artists broader worldwide exposure. Gallery TaiK has helped Helsinki School artists' work garner attention at major international art fairs including Paris Photo and Art Forum Berlin, as well as at exhibitions at the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2007, the Paris Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 2008, and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany in 2009. The photo exhibition at Shiseido Gallery will feature two of the Helsinki School's mainstay artists, Tiina Itkonen and Sandra Kantanen, as well as two relatively younger up-and-coming artists, Susanna Majuri and Anni Leppälä. Shiseido Gallery invites all to come enjoy the diverse approaches taken up by these four women in expressing their photographic worldviews. Guest Curator: Timothy Persons Born in Narvik, Norway in 1954, Persons earned his MFA from the Claremont Graduate University in California in 1981. He currently is the Director of Professional Studies Program and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland, as well as the Director of Gallery TaiK. He also serves as Senior Curatorial Adviser to the Museum of Contemporary Art KIASMA in Helsinki.