Philosophy of Wealth – Portraits of Finnish Wealth by Jaakko Heikkilä
Surprisingly little is known about the financially wealthiest members of Finnish society. The works of photographer Jaakko Heikkilä examine individual members of this often unidentified minority group, as well as their life stories and relationship with wealth, happiness and life.
The exhibition builds a view of Finnish society by means of art. The Philosophy of Wealth examines financial wealth as a cultural phenomenon and asks what wealth is, whether it improves mental wellbeing and whether financial wealth is a taboo in Finnish society. In Jaakko Heikkilä’s photos, wealth is personified by feeling and breathing human individuals, who also contemplate their relationship with ‘Finnishness’.
Jaakko Heikkilä (b. 1956) is a Finnish photographer. The overarching themes often featured in his works are cultural identities and minorities living amidst dominant cultures. Heikkilä has taken photography trips to locations such as Cuba, Brazil, Serbia and the Karelia area. Heikkilä’s exhibition on the persecution of Armenians was showcased in the Venice Biennale in 2005, and Heikkilä has also photographed groups such as Harlem residents, Vlachs and speakers of Meänkieli. In 2016, the National Museum of Finland exhibited a series of works by Heikkilä on Venetian nobility. It was around that time that Heikklä got the idea of photographing the wealthy Finnish minority.