2021 KM isa ja poika

CLOSED: Father and Son – Photographs by Sami Parkkinen

A child’s world is full of opportunities, freedom, joy and play. When photographer Sami Parkkinen became a father, he took an interest in children’s way of experiencing the world around them. The story of a son’s growth emphasises the sensitivity and creativity of a child and the pride of a father, connected to melancholy over the fleeting nature of childhood.

The exhibition is about the world of children, which adults often see as unfinished – but for children, it is complete. Children grow, develop and change as they move towards the world of adults. It is adults’ job to let children experience childhood.

Photographer Sami Parkkinen started taking photos of his son Arvi when he was born in 2012. Observing the child’s world through photos captures feelings and experiences that are universal yet personal. Over the years, photography has become an art project shared by father and son.

Sami Parkkinen says that, as a father of an 8-year-old, he feels strongly about the threats to humanity and the environment, and he takes a stand on these topics. However, he does not simply point out problems, but builds hope for a better world, instead.

Concern for a child is part of being a parent, but so is the other extreme: joy, love, carefreeness and play. Play is the superpower of childhood from which the works in Parkkinen’s art project are derived. In the earliest photos in the series, the child was not yet aware of the camera, but slowly, Arvi grows into an active agent participating in the works. Many of the works are based on a game invented by Arvi, which they have later recreated in front of the camera.

The exhibition displays about 50 works created over the course of eight years. The latest ones are from 2020. In addition to photos, the exhibition includes sculptures and two video installations.

Sami Parkkinen (b. 1974) is a Finnish photographer and artist whose photos and sculptures based on photos focus on people’s growth, the development of consciousness, humans’ relationship with nature and society’s ability to change its ways. Sami Parkkinen’s works have been displayed in various galleries and museums, both in Finland and internationally. Parkkinen’s works are also included in the collections of the Finnish Government and the Finnish Museum of Photography.

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