Finland brings Fotografiska’s desired photography scholarship home – again!

By on December 30, 2016

Fotografiska is proud to present The Young Nordic Photographer of the Year (YNP). This year again, a young talented photographer from Finland was appointed by the jury: Akseli Valmunen is a 29 year old recent graduate from Aalto University, who will receive 10 000 Euro, a personally selected artistic mentor and a solo exhibition at Fotografiska during 2017.

Once again the Young Nordic Photographer of the Year scholarship goes to Finland. The winner of the 2016 edition is Akseli Valmunen, a 29 year old photographer from Turku, Finland, recently graduated with a Master of Photography from Aalto University. Valmunen works for one of Finland’s largest magazines: Helsingin Sanomat, and has been chosen Challenger of the Year by Finnish Photojournalism 2015 and 2016.

Akseli Valmunen receives Fotografiska’s desirable scholarship of 10 000 Euro, a personally selected artistic mentor, and a solo exhibition at Fotografiska. The jury was captured by his series The Same New Pet, where Valmunen follows the research into cloning at a laboratory in South Korea. A place where pet owners, for a price of 100 000 USD, can clone their beloved but departed pet. Like one pet owner put it: ”It’s not the same one – but let me think that it is”.

The jury’s motivation:

”In clinically minimalistic images, Akseli Valmunen manages to touch the entirety of the ethical emotional spectrum, from warmth and compassion to the strongest feelings of discomfort. When humanity starts playing God poses an old moral dilemma, getting ever more real along the progress of technology. In intimate portraits, Valmunen has us reflecting over this question, when breeding is no longer enough to conceive the perfect pet, and cloning supersedes. With a poetically documenting eye, Valmunen is observing the world around him, and we look forward to see where he takes us in the future.”

– I am truly incredibly grateful and surprised to receive the scholarship. I never believed Fotografiska would call me. I have been there many times and always admired everything I saw there. For me, photography is a way of life and I just must do it for a living. I am a storyteller and my way of photography is to tell those stories with out words. Maybe extra important for me who have a grave form of dyslexia, says Akseli Valmunen.

– For Fotografiska, this scholarship is a fantastic way of contributing to the development of photography among young photographers in the Nordic region. We are really looking forward to an exciting collaboration together with Akseli Valmunen, says Jan Broman, Founder and CEO of Fotografiska.

Young Nordic Photographer of The Year jury 2016:

  • Marianne Ager, Exhibition Researcher – Brandts Museum for Kunst & Visuel Kultur, Odense, Denmark
  • Nygårds Karin Bengtsson, Artist, Höganäs, Sweden
  • Kristín Hauksdóttir, Project Manager – Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Johan Vikner, Exhibition Coordinator – Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ellen-K Willas, Gallery Manager – Willas Contemporary, Oslo, Norway

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