Sandra Kantanen

Sandra Kantanen (born 1974, Helsinki, Finland) trained both at the Helsinki School of Photography and the Central Academy of Art in Beijing. 'I studied Chinese landscape painting and became obsessed with the idea of trying to understand their way of looking at nature. As I found most of the holy mountains they had been depicting for thousands of years were almost destroyed by pollution or otherwise turned into tourist spots, it became for me a search for a landscape that doesn’t really exist, an idealised picture'. Her photographs literally look as if she is painting with light. One senses in her work old values of a slower way of life, her interest in Tibetan Buddhism – yet the hints at chaos with the occasional wash of colour, the blurring, the distortion, the mix of techniques that would have been heresy to traditionalists, seem to accept that there are flaws not only in man-made thinking patterns, but in nature itself, and even in her ‘idealised’ vision of it.

A former pupil of the celebrated Helsinki School of Photography, a major monograph on her work was published by Hatje Cantz in June 2011.