Akseli Valmunen is Young Nordic Photographer of The Year 2016

Fotografiska is proud to present The Young Nordic Photographer of the Year (YNP). This year again, a young talented photographer from Finland was appointed by the jury: Akseli Valmunen is a 29 year old recent graduate from Aalto University, who will receive 10 000 Euro, a personally selected artistic mentor and a solo exhibition at Fotografiska during 2017.

Once again the Young Nordic Photographer of the Year scholarship goes to Finland. The winner of the 2016 edition is Akseli Valmunen. He works for one of Finland’s largest magazines: Helsingin Sanomat, and has been chosen Challenger of the Year by Finnish Photojournalism 2015 and 2016.

Akseli Valmunen receives Fotografiska’s desirable scholarship of 10 000 Euro, a personally selected artistic mentor, and a solo exhibition at Fotografiska. The jury was captured by his series The Same New Pet, where Valmunen follows the research into cloning at a laboratory in South Korea. A place where pet owners, for a price of 100 000 USD, can clone their beloved but departed pet. Like one pet owner put it: ”It’s not the same one – but let me think that it is”.

”In clinically minimalistic images, Akseli Valmunen manages to touch the entirety of the ethical emotional spectrum, from warmth and compassion to the strongest feelings of discomfort. When humanity starts playing God poses an old moral dilemma, getting ever more real along the progress of technology. In intimate portraits, Valmunen has us reflecting over this question, when breeding is no longer enough to conceive the perfect pet, and cloning supersedes. With a poetically documenting eye, Valmunen is observing the world around him, and we look forward to see where he takes us in the future.”

Young Nordic Photographer of The Year jury 2016:

  • Marianne Ager, Exhibition Researcher – Brandts Museum for Kunst & Visuel Kultur, Odense, Denmark
  • Nygårds Karin Bengtsson, Artist, Höganäs, Sweden
  • Kristín Hauksdóttir, Project Manager – Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Johan Vikner, Exhibition Coordinator – Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ellen-K Willas, Gallery Manager – Willas Contemporary, Oslo, Norway