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Kuvataiteilija Jyrki Markkasen Phillipsin laatikosta tekemä neulanreikäkamera. Image Jyrki Markkanen

The exhibition takes you back to the roots of photography, to the fascinating camera obscura. The exhibition dives into building a pinhole camera and taking photos with it. The most imaginative cameras are on display, as well as photographs taken by artists through pinholes. The exhibition at the Craft Museum of Finland 17.9.–4.12.2022 is curated by visual artist Jyrki Markkanen. 

The pinhole camera is photography at its simplest. All you need is a light-proof box with a small hole for light to pass through. The photograph is drawn on film or photographic paper inside the box. The technique is one of the earliest photographic techniques, and the dreamlike atmosphere it creates continues to appeal to photographers around the world. First noticed as early as 300-400 BC, pinhole printing was first used by artists from the 16th century onwards, when Leonardo da Vinci was also taking notes on the subject. The camera obscura brought perspective to the discussion a new way in visual arts. 

In addition to the photograph itself, the camera and its construction play an almost equally important role in pinhole photography. Pinhole photography combines skill and chance, craft and art, chemistry and physics, light and darkness. Through the Pinhole exhibition will showcase the most extraordinary pinhole cameras and how they are built. When photographing with a camera, many people are interested in doing things with their hands, even when photographing with a camera, as well as the creative touch brought by chance. No matter how much you plan and compose when shooting with a pinhole camera, the result is always a little surprise when the light draws something new and surprising on the negative. Pinhole photography is a masterpiece of collaboration between light, camera and photographer. 

Through the Pinhole exhibition features several long-standing pinhole photographers, which is visible not only in the cameras but also in the photographs of the exhibition. One photographer uses a 'multi-lens' technique in their camera instead of a single pinhole and has several holes, while another relies on the simplest method and a third wants to combine their electronic know-how to the pinhole photography. What they all have in common, however, is a homemade camera and a new way of looking at the environment through a pinhole.

Artists and makers

  • Kaisu Häkkänen, Punkaharju
  • Reilika Landen, Hollola
  • Emma Lappalainen, Imatra
  • Jyrki Markkanen, Imatra
  • Peter Olpe, Basel, Sveitsi
  • Marjo Pirilä, Tampere
  • Timo Remes, Oulunsalo
  • Pasi Vääränen, Jyväskylä

Through the Pinhole – Photos with a Lensless Camera

Exhibition in the Craft Museum of Finland Lobby Gallery 17.9.–4.12.2022

Suomen käsityön museo