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Kari Soinio: From Landscape to Place

October 22 to November 25
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 22nd, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Artist Talk beginning at 7:30 pm

Kari Soinio: From Landscape to Place, a photography exhibit, is featured at Finlandia University Gallery, Hancock, from October 22 through November 25, 2015.

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place at the gallery on Thursday, October 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with an artist talk by Kari Soinio beginning at 7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Kari Soinio is a New York-based artist working mainly with photography. He received his BA from the Lahti Polytechnic in his native Finland and his MFA from University of Art and Design in Helsinki. He also has studied at the International Center of Photography in New York.

  • View a slideshow and introduction of Soinio's work on New York Times

Kari Soinio will be exhibiting work from three photographic series at Finlandia University Gallery: City of Ghosts, Beautiful City and A Way by Numbers.

In City of Ghosts Sonio combines architectural photography and street photography. The series discusses both the permanence of the city and the constant social and physical changes in it. The project also looks into the beauty of architecture and the fleeting nature of human life. In the first part of City of Ghosts images focus on the beauty of older architecture, the latter part looks more into the role of new glass towers in old neighborhoods and their impact on a changing city.

As important as hidden meanings and socioeconomic settings in his work on urban landscape are beauty and character of the city. Personal attachments and histories guide much of his art.

“My interest in landscape stems from my interest in our place in the world,” says Soinio “in how where we are from defines our identity.”

In Beautiful City he has traced his everyday steps through his hometowns of Helsinki and New York and marveled at the aesthetics a city can portray for an observant traveler. By a way of defocused images he lays out views at the same time familiar and utterly foreign and alters commonplace views and moments into beauty and fascination.

In Beautiful City his images appear face-mounted on bevel edged elliptical glass, reminiscent of nostalgic mirrors of times passed or old daguerreotypes and miniature paintings that the out of focus nature of the photo emphasizes.

“Both my landscape and auto portraiture work have evolved and taken different paths in photography, which I still feel challenges me constantly,” notes Soinio. “I enjoy the infinite possibilities camera and photographic techniques offer as means of expression, from documentary style to more conceptual approach.”

A Way by Numbers is based on a simple observation of geographical codes on the faces of each flight of stairs in the NYC subway system.

“Via those codes and other everyday codings I mark routes through the city,” explains Soinio. “The series is an itinerary, an earliest form of mapping. It basically shows waypoints between two places. It is a kind of rudimentary map used as early as fifteenth century by monks traveling from England to Rome.”

His solo shows include Station Independent Projects in New York with Janet Biggs (2015), SIP and Storefront Bushwick in New York, both in 2013, Heino Gallery (2012) and Korjaamo Gallery (2011) in Helsinki, Northern Photographic Center in Oulu (2011) and Ingrid Hansen Gallery in Washington DC (2007).

He has featured in numerous group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki among them. A monograph "From Landscape to Place" was published in 2009 in conjunction with shows at Heino Gallery and a mid career survey at Kerava Art Museum near Helsinki. His show at the Institut Finlandais in Paris was part of Mois de la Photo in 2010 and received significant attention from French art press.

His work has been shown internationally at Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, England, NGBK gallery, Berlin, Germany, Arthouse, Sofia, Bulgaria, Ludvig Museum, Budapest, Hungary, Signe Vad galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark, Peer Gallery, New York, USA, Gallery Papatzikou - Photobiennale Thessaloniki, Veroia, Greece, Ingrid Hansen Gallery, Washington DC, USA, Municipality of Neapolis Gallery, Thessaloniki, Greece, Kakelhallen, Mariehamn, Åland. Soinio's work has appeared in NY Arts Magazine, Connaissance des Arts, l'Humanite, Réponses Photo, Art Actuel, La Tribune, Next Level and in numerous books, newspapers and tv programs in Finland.

Kari Soinio will work with students from Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design students during his campus visit.

From Landscape to Place will be on display October 22 through November 25, 2015.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy St., downtown Hancock. For more information, contact the Finlandia University Gallery at (906) 487-7500.

Photo cutlines:

  • Photo 1: The artist Kari Soinio
  • Photo 2: City of Ghosts, Rivington / Ludlow, 2015, Archival inkjet print, 32 -1/4” x 39"