Young Artist of the Year 2020: Aapo Huhta

Ars Nova
27.11.2020−23.5.2021

I often find myself creating photographs in which familiar things become unfamiliar, the everyday becomes unreal, or things just look strange.

Aapo Huhta (b. 1985) photographs real places and situations. However, behind his documentary approach there lies an experimental level and strong symbolism. The reality captured in the photographs is coloured by the artist’s private narrative, suggesting a story to the viewer that moves somewhere between reality and the unreal.

The exhibition shows two major photographic series. For both, the artist has traveled far away to examine a foreign environment through the eyes of an outsider. Block (2014–2015) was shot in New York and Omatandangole (2016–2018) in Namibia. In contrast, Aapo Huhta has photographed the third series on show from as close as possible, within the circle of his own family. In these new works the artist, who recently became a father, examines parenthood and the constantly changing relationships between a child and a parent.

The Young Artist of the Year is one of the most well-known art awards in Finland. It is granted yearly to a talented artist under the age of 35. The prize is awarded by the Tampere Art Museum and it includes a stipend, a museum exhibition and a publication. Aapo Huhta is the 36th artist to be named as the Young Artist of the Year.

Aapo Huhta: Untitled from the series Omatandangole, 2017, pigment print, 75 x 100 cm
Aapo Huhta: Untitled from the series Omatandangole, 2016, pigment print, 67x50 cm
Aapo Huhta: Untitled from the series Omatandangole, 2016–2018, pigment print, 50x38 cm
Aapo Huhta: Untitled from the series Omatandangole, 2016-2018, pigment print, 100 x 75 cm
Aapo Huhta: Mother # 1, 2020,pigment print, 90x120 cm
Aapo Huhta in his exhibition Young Artist of the Year 2020. Photograph: Jari Nieminen.
Aapo Huhta: Untitled from the series Block, 2014, pigment print, 90x120 cm
Aapo Huhta: Untitled from the series Block 2014,pigment print, 90x120 cm