Young Hero – Jouko Lehtola Foundation Award goes to Joel Karppanen

omakuva_joelkarppanenThe first Young Hero – Jouko Lehtola Foundation Award for a Young Documentary Photographer awardee is Joel Karppanen, a 23-year-old self-taught photographer from Oulu.

The exhibition at Hippolyte Studio shows a part of Joel Karppanen’s on-going series Finnish Pastoral. It is a story of the village of Karinkanta in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia with a population of just under 200 people.

The exhibition Pastoral No. 1 is a frank look beyond romantic nationalism, into Finnish countryside and the changes it is facing in the 2010’s. The series consist of understated portraits, landscapes, interiors, fauna, details and frozen moments shot on medium format.

Art historian Asko Mäkelä and photographer Maija Tammi were invited by the board of Jouko Lehtola Foundation to choose the awardee. Mäkelä and Tammi characterise Karppanen’s work:

Joel Karppanen is a truly passionate and insatiable photographer, who is in charge of his shoots and sees the world in the way a photographer should – differently. Karppanen is a very suitable first winner of the Young Hero Award as his works combine journalistic ambition with artistic realisation. Karppanen creates images where mundane turns into exceptional. He has the ability to see wider meanings in details and distil them into almost bodily sensations.

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Named after one of Lehtola’s best-known series, Young Hero – Jouko Lehtola Foundation Award for a Young Documentary Photographer can be awarded to emerging, talented photographers with a passionate approach to their work. In 2017 the award includes a prize of 2000 €, an exhibition at Hippolyte Studio and one-to-one mentoring.

Joel Karppanen (b. 1993) is a photojournalist and an artist based in Oulu, northern Finland. He has worked as a freelance photographer for Finnish and international media since 2011. His artistic work includes photography as well as video and media art. In 2015 Karppanen was shortlisted in the Finnish Press Photos competition.

Pastoral nr. 1

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