The ‘Transformation x 2’ exhibition of the Riga Photography Biennale 2020 will be on view at the Cesis Exhibition House from June 19 to July 19 and reveals the artistic quest of two Finnish artists – Saana Wang and Artor Jesus Inkero at the intersection of the Eastern and Western cultural spaces. The curator of the exhibition is Inga Brūvere (LV). This exhibition introduces the regional program of the Riga Photography Biennale, which will continue in the autumn.
In the exhibition Transformation x 2, both artists - Sana Wang and Artor Jesus Inkere - explore what can a human image relate through photographic and cinematic means, settling in a seemingly nondescript space in an urban landscape and forming some sort of relationship with it.
In Saana Wang’s series of photographs ‘Huijalou’ (2008-2009), the action takes place in an eastern suburb of Beijing affected by rapid industrial changes. The Huijalou suburb has changed not only visually but also on a much wider scale – the change deeply affects the social and cultural layer. So the artist has introduced fictitious, mythical elements, using the traditional masks of Chinese opera, which help to register the multilayer nature of existence and feel the tension between the visible upper layer of reality and its deeper structures.
Among the creative interests of younger generation artist Artor Jesus Inkero, the comfortable lifestyle of capitalist society and contemporary masculinity and mentality are dominant. In the videos Premium Fantasy (2019) and Guest (2019) he treats these topics with a measure of light irony and obvious reference to Sophie Coppola’s romantic drama Lost in Translation (2003). Similar to the protagonist of the film, the Finnish artist, using the opportunity accorded by a residency in Japan, ends up in a situation typical of a Western tourist in the East. His relationship to and measuring himself against the foreign environment of a Tokyo hotel is played out as a documentation of the neutral daily rhythm.
Organizer: Riga Photography Biennial in cooperation with Cēsis Exhibition Hall, Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia and Embassy of Finland.
Image: Saana Wang. From series ‘Hujialou’, 2008 – 2009