Kira Leskinen Chroma 5.–28.6.2020

Hippolyte Studio

In Kira Leskinen’s exhibition Chroma, silence, repetition, and rhythm bend into visual form. The sensations evoked by light, colour, and shape constitute the works inherent aliveness—all created via a flatbed scanner and a smartphone scanning application. The works welcome you to linger in the room and enjoy the power of minimalist expression.

In Hippolyte Studio, Leskinen presents two series of works implemented with different digital image scanning techniques—Chroma and Vertical Horizons. Leskinen transforms photography into an abstract delight of colours, and the experience of sensory crossing and mixing, i.e. synesthesia, is strongly present in the exhibition: how does the combination of red and yellow sound? How does it feel on the tongue? Additionally, Leskinen turns the auditory sensations created by colours and colour combinations into linguistic form as the names of the works—Ato, Tokra, and Viilo—evoke. Instead of a clarifying meaning, the most important aspect is the phonetics of these sonorous words and their affective timbres.

In her series Chroma, Leskinen delves into the thematics of silence and quietness—her contextual reference drawing from the architecture of churches and their relationship between light, space, and geometry. The series is based on sunlight reflected off a flatbed scanner’s glass surface, which is further delimited and shaped by paper stencils. In the pictures, the glaring midday sky illuminates, burns, and leaks under the stencils—rays of light even go through the paper. Leskinen’s intuitive and heavily improvised working process allows for chance, which acts as an interesting contrast to the scanner’s common transactional and standardised image-making purpose. The motions created during the scanning process—lifting, pushing, and turning the paper—create a variety of digital errors and distortions in the scanned images. These visual twists give the works their final form and character.

The works in the series Vertical Horizons, captured with a smartphone scanning application, return to the artist’s personal chromatic impressions of major cities like Istanbul and Bangkok. The works can be seen as manifestations of nostalgia and attempt to reduce the characteristics of a metropolis into coloured rhythms—lines and colour ranges. In addition to painters such as Mark Rothko, the works hint to the Finnish weaving tradition of raanu textiles.

Kira Leskinen is a Helsinki-based photographic and visual artist. Her artistic work focuses on scanography—abstract images created using scanners. Leskinen graduated with a master’s degree from Aalto University in 2016 and has participated in several group and solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad. In addition to her artistic work, Leskinen works as a photographer and graphic designer.

The Arts Promotion Centre Finland has kindly supported the artist’s work and the realisation of the exhibition.


Kira Leskinen
Hippolyte Studio
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16

image: Kira Leskinen, Umut, 2018
installation images: Milla Talassalo