Niina Vatanen

Niina Vatanen is a visual artist based in Helsinki. She graduated from the department of photography at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 2008. The questions of time and memory, as well as seeing and perception have been central to Vatanen’s work for many years. Recently, Vatanen has been working with archive materials, which has further deepened her interest in these themes.

Vatanen builds layers into her images through painting, cutting, bonding, staging and re-photographing. She also uses simple, playful interventions to point our gaze directly at the photographic surface, revealing the act of seeing as an inherent element of photography, and explores perception in the interaction between the visible and the not visible.

Niina Vatanen’s debut exhibition The Red Letter (and other confessions) took place at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in December 2006. Since then her artworks have been on display in numerous galleries, museums and photo festivals in Finland and abroad, e.g. Germany, France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Greece, Russia and South Korea including The Danish National Museum of Photography, Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Athens Photo Festival, Daegu Photo Biennale, and others.

Vatanen has published two books in collaboration with a German publishing house Kehrer Verlag: Archive Play (together with Hertta Kiiski) in 2014 and A Room’s Memory/Huoneen muisti in 2013. Her works are included in public collections, such as Saastamoinen Foundation, the Finnish Museum of Photography, the Finnish State Art Collection, and in various private collections in Finland, Germany and France.