The core of Hannu Karjalainen’s works is his interest in cinema and his attraction to the texture of fresh paint and color as a tool to investigate the world around us. "Looking at painting through photography, its role becomes reversed” states the artist. "Colour is an elusive subject matter. It is intangible and abstract as much as it is coded, branded, and harnessed for different purposes.”
The dialogue between painting and Karjalainen’s work is most visible in his ongoing series of portraits (2008-), the layering use of paint on top of the models’ clothes reconstructs them into sculptures, eliminating any personal and lively features - "creating another layer between the viewer and the object.” Karjalainen offers the viewer a general reflection on the human condition instead of portraits of individuals not only in his photographs but also in his videos.
Hannu Karjalainen graduated from the department of Photography of the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture)
in 2005. His experimental films, video installation work, photography and sound art have been exhibited internationally, including UMMA University of Michigan Museum of Art, International Biennale of Photography Bogota, Scandinavia House New York, Fotogalleriet Oslo and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art Helsinki.