Monday, 15 August 2011

From the heart of Finland to the heart of Uzbekistan

A few weeks ago we were visiting a photographer friend in Parikala in the east of Finland. Kirmo Vilën spends some of his year in Hainan - China, photographing the changing lifestyle of local people. Its a long term project which he says will go on until he can't travel anymore.


Kirmo described how he communicates to the people of Hainan as he doesn't speak any Chinese. He speaks in pictures; carries small booklets of photographs of Finland so when he enters the homes of people whom he has just met he can give them a better idea of where he comes from. The pictures say a lot about the culture and landscape of Finland - a place most of these Chinese people will never see. It goes a long way towards establishing friendship.


So I thought - why not make a couple of short videos (while I'm waiting for my visa application to be approved) - something that the people I'm going to meet in Uzbekistan can see to get a better idea of where I'm coming from - the place I spend most of my waking days - my studio.



So, my little phone makes movies and it was a piece of 1hr cake to make. Just an overview with slightly frantic music because its free. I guess if I want music that isn't copyright I'll just have to start playing again....


My studio is situated about 1hr drive north of Helsinki in a quiet hamlet called Hyttikortteli - the homes of glass blowers when Riihimäki was an industrial town. Now the glass factory has gone; turned into warehouses and small businesses, the older houses remain as an historical reminder of the working life of this community.

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