Sep 08, 2017
Mika is a young Finnish photographer and multi-talent, who cycles the outskirts of Helsinki with his camera portraying the particular aesthetics of these suburban areas. His fascinating minimal and detached images are like catalysts that help revealing the stories of these places. With mostly scenes of industrial states and the people around them, his photographic work is a document of the urban expansion that takes place in our current society, which also invites us to appreciate its particular beauty and reflect about its impacts.
Following we present a nice interview that we had with Mika:
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
MK - My name is Mika Keijonen, I was born in Helsinki Finland and have lived here all of my life. I studied clothes making at the vocational school. I also have a Diploma as media-assistant. In the field of photography I’m mostly self-taught. I work in the city library as a media worker. My passion is kite surfing and I try to get out to sea whenever the winds favour me. My other passion is music. I’m a former drummer, but after breaking my ears playing for many years, now I mainly just listen to rhythms.
am - How did you start in photography?
MK - My mother used to work at repro. At that time she always used a SLR camera and I a had the chance to practice with it. I think I was 14 y/o then and that´s when I really started to get into photographing. Photographing has always been like meditation to me. I love to ride with my bicycle and find intresting places to photograph. I use mostly medium format film. I often like to see my photos as characters with their own curiosities.
am - What is this series about and what was your motivation to start this project?
MK - I think the motivation came from the love of my hometown. It´s about an ongoing series documenting the quiet, everyday corners of Helsinki as it expands and changes to meet the demands of an increasing population.
am - What inspires your work?
MK - I find inspiration all around me. One of my favourite methods to boost it up is to get on my bike and just ride all over the city. I also find portrait photography really inspiring. Great photographers are everywhere now, instagram is one of my favourite places to explore. Really like the Juxtapoz magazine too. Love the variety it offers.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
MK - Alexander Gronsky, Pieter Hugo, Martin Schoeller, Alec Soth, Keith Loutit, Richard Avedon, August Sander, Gregory Crewdson, Nadav Kander, Lori nix - just to mention a few.
am - Favourite songs / bands at the moment?
MK - Comeback kid (do yourself a favor), nine (them) first aid kit (I found the way) hidden orchestra (alyth), virta (on the run), ibrahim maalouf (essentielles) death, the cinematic orchestra (man with the moving camera), photek (the hidden camera), refused (new noise), meshuggah (corridor of chameleons), candiria (constant velocity is a natural as being at rest), square pusher (fat controller), yann tiersen (summer 78), ulver (eos & lost in moments & waltz of king karl).
am - What’s your favourite movie?
MK - It´s impossible for me to name just one. Fargo, Once Upon a Time in the West, Interstellar, Happiness, The Station Agent, Broken Flowers, The Man Without a Past.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
MK - Richard Avedon- “In the American West”
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.