Kimmo Kumela I Am Shadow. I Am Night. 1.–24.11.2019

Hippolyte Studio

Kimmo Kumela’s dark, muted colours and almost black, collection of work I Am Shadow. I Am Night. lead the viewer through a story and guide the body in one single linear direction. Subtly, it asks how do we want to perceive our world.

I Am Shadow. I Am Night. displayed in Hippolyte Studio consists of stories, photographs, and paintings. Kumela’s collage-like work comprises newspapers, texts, and found photographs, which he then customises. Photography is often the starting point for Kumela’s work: he continues to physically draw, paint, and cover over the image, creating complex, layered surfaces. Duplication and adaptation of a singular topic are thematically central. What is revealed in Kumela’s images becomes invisible and then visible again, as your eyes wander along an enigmatic landscape.

During his artistic process, Kumela produces several works, of which only a small part end up displayed. The finished pieces waiting in his studio may or may not ever see the light of day in a new setting. With each hanging, a bespoke display selection is made dependant on the contrast of juxtaposition in every new space. Sketch-like works bring an essential insight into art-making, from first steps to finalised outcomes. The presentation technique uses variegation in size and sequencing to create visual activity which carries the viewer to both interstitial and macro spaces.

In Kumela’s imagery, world events combine with his personal history. Together, they form a multidirectional set of interpretations that prevail as a narrative or as faceted dimensions of a landscape. Kumela plays with perception, gesture, expression, and technique. Behind poetic melancholy, the viewer is invited to find hopeful undertones.

Kimmo Kumela works mainly with drawing, painting, photography, and collage. He has taken part in several solo and group exhibitions in Finland and Nordic countries. Kumela’s works are included in the City of Helsinki’s art collection, and in 2013 he was awarded the William Thuring designated prize.


Kimmo Kumela
I Am Shadow. I Am Night.
Hippolyte Studio
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16

image: Kimmo Kumela, I Am Shadow. I Am Night., 2019