Even though Jaakko Kahilaniemi (b. 1989, Finland) grew up in a country covered by forests, his attraction toward nature came late. When at the age of 8 he inherited 100 hectares of forested land he reacted with indifference, discounting the importance of such a gift, hardly relatable to the urban environment he was used to. In adulthood things changed: he started questioning what role such a great expanse of trees would play in his life and began a series of explorations inside the woods and outside of his comfort zone. The photographic research conducted in recent years tears the environment apart, showing the smaller elements that form the landscape individually and layering multiple images to create yet undiscovered dimensions.
The result of this study is 100 Hectares of Understanding, Kahialaniemi’s first major photographic project ,which aims to inspire the viewer to observe nature in a new way and experience the familiar with fresh eyes. By working with different post-production techniques and mixing a variety of seemingly disconnected pictures, the photographer deconstructs landscapes, documenting his own shift from detachment to awareness, in a journey of self-discovery though the Finnish flora. The relation between nature and man was further explored in Nature Like Capital, a highly experimental series that depicts the effects of human interaction with the environment. In Nature Like Capital, Kahialaniemi presents his visual secrets in a straightforward manner, capturing forest fires and tree plantations that push the viewer to reconsider what exactly “natural” means.
Thanks to his conceptual images Kahialaniemi was selected as one of Lens Culture emerging talents in 2017 and won the prestigious ING Unseen Talent Award in 2018.