The past is always present

Neither photography nor video represent what you actually see.

In Erica Nyholm’s and Saana Wang’s hands photographic equipment turns into x-ray machines or Kirlian devices that creates images showing places, people and situations beyond their normal appearence. The photographs reflect both the genuine and the staged; blending what is found in the real world with the artificial.

The photographs illustrate things of the past, far away. Half of what we see comes from the history of pictures seen, the common heritage of viewing and the feelings it evokes. Old paintings, family portraits from the beginning of last century, 60’s science fiction films, excerpts from anthropological films, New Wave films, early avant-garde films and scenes from chamber theater flashes in the background of these photographs.

The other half of the things depicted in the photographs stems from the carefully constructed silence of the images leaving room for the feelings to grow. While the photographs are simple at their core, they do not depict a clear fact or claim about the world. This haziness causes the audience to feel confused about what they are seeing and it becomes necessary for the audience to think about their personal history of looking. It is like seeing things from a far for the first time, more intensely and relevantly than usually.

Nostalgia. As if you only now understand the past.

Erica Nyholm (born in 1982) got her Master of Arts degree from Aalto University’s School of Arts and Design in 2013. Since her graduation she has held solo exhibitions in the Kluuvi Gallery (2014) and the Northern Photographic Centre (2015). Nyholm has participated in group exhibitions in Finland and internationally, for example in Nuoret 2015; Helsinki Kunsthalle (2015), Gestos Hacia uno Mismo; Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (2015), Hope and Faith; Encontros da Imagem Festival (2014). In 2015 Nyholm was awarded the Spanish VIII Pilar Citoler International Biennial Prize. Nyholms work captures single life experiences, focusing on the individual’s relation to family.

Saana Wang (born in 1979) works with both photography and video art, blending and researching time and space through hybrid works. Wang has studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and at the School of Visual Arts in New York and she completed her Master of Arts at the Aalto University’s School of Arts and Design in 2013. Wang was awarded the ITS#8 Photo Award in Italy in 2009. She has held several solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Finland and internationally.


Saana Wang

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Erica Nyholm