Art Centre and Museum

Mikkeli Centre of Photography is an art centre and museum, specializing in art photography. Mikkeli Centre of Photography was established in 1989, being one of the oldest centres of photography in Finland. The centre houses five separate gallery spaces: Hall, Galleries I, II, III and Lounge Gallery. The centre is located in a beautiful heritage building at the university campus of Mikkeli, a short walk from the market square.

In these galleries there are changing exhibitions showing contemporary Finnish photography, and in Gallery III photographs of the local cultural history and heritage. There is also a small, high quality library of photographic books for the audience in the Lounge as well as an Information Service Desk.

The Centre promotes photography and visual arts on regional, national and international level. The Centre organises high quality art exhibitions, conducts photography, art and media education, is an expert in publishing photography books and houses a Digital Photography Workshop and visual design workshop space Kultura for artists' work, education and research. We work in cooperation with the Cultural Services of Mikkeli City and Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The Centre is also a member of Finnish Museums Association.

Welcome to visit

Mikkeli Centre of Photography
Puistokatu 3
50100 Mikkeli, Finland
Tel. +358 45 1494866

Exhibitions 1.6.-19.9.2020

Stefan Bremer: Velocity

Stefan Bremer (b. 1953, Helsinki) is one of the most prominent and well-known photographers in Finland.

Velocity is an overview of Bremer's artistic work from the last 20 years.

Bremer started photography in his early teens as a newspaper photographer.

He began studying photography at the University of Art and Design Helsinki in 1974.

During his long and productive career, he has actively shown his artworks in solo and group exhibitions and has published several books.

Bremer is a well-known lecturer. He has worked as a photography teacher at several art schools and many of the younger Finnish photography artists have been his students.

In his recent works, Bremer has explored the possibilities and features of photography. The question is - what sets photography apart from the other visual arts? It might be the sliding of time and scale, micro and macro. Those parts of reality that have been captured and whose execution pattern is not 100% clear to the viewer by looking at the image.

"In my artistic work, I study the journey offered by the world of photography. Many events that the human eye is not able to register can nevertheless be described by a camera.

The light and the shadow form a mental landscape. I can act as an alchemist trying to sift gold."

Stefan Bremer's production has also focused on people and their diverse activities throughout his career. Bremer's pictures are marked by an interest and curiosity in humanity.

The series Touch was based on the serious illness of a close friend. Bremer photographed his friend in the divine light, touched by a very light matter. This expanded to a series of portraits, in which people are touched by various, light substances.

Bremer has also photographed young people trying to find their identity. They are asylum seekers who have travelled from the war zones of the Middle East and North Africa across Europe to Finland.

"The Borderline -series features images of horizons where the seas of the world are the borders. There is uncertainty, a desire for the better on the other side, and there are both the past and hopelessness behind."

Bremer has also often portrayed performing arts - theatre, opera, dance, rock and classical music. The images of the Carmen production by Duv Teatern were inspired by the Spanish artists Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) and Diego Velázquez (1599-1660).

"I have mostly dealt with people. I have tried to examine the problems associated with being human, and wanted to explore the minds of Finnish men and women.

On the other hand, I also want to comment and participate in the political debate about morals and ideals. I want to polarize and use photography as a tool for propaganda and to act as an instigator of bittersweet laughter."

A book by Bremer, Velocity, was published by Teos.

Collections: The Story of the Lake People Photographed by Leo Montonen - New Photos

Leo Montonen, 1927

Leo Montonen (1905-1968) photographed in Puumala, in the archipelago of Saimaa, which is the biggest lake in Finland.

The Finnish Lakeland, a unique body of water, is known for its environmental richness and beauty of landscape.

Through Montonen's photographic art, we can discover a voyage into the cultural heritage of Finland. Leo Montonen began photography at the age of 18 in 1923, nearly a hundred years ago. According to his own words, he became a professional photographer at the age of 21, in 1926.

Montonen considered himself as a travelling photographer, who moved around in the archipelago from house to house. Montonen took portraits, family photos, group photos, and friend photos. He photographed weddings and funerals.

But Montonen also took photographs of his contemporaries at work. There are photographs of woodwork, timber, rafting, farming, work in the hay and grain fiekds, and fishing. He also photographed the environment, Saimaa lake, nature, houses and farms.

Leo Montonen was also a pioneer of self-portaiture, currently known as 'selfies'. Montonen positioned himself deliberately as the subject of the gaze in his various self-portraits.

The artistic quality of Montonen's photographs makes perhaps the greatest impact. There is high technical quality, vision and a distinctive style in his images.

The new black and white prints and an updated video installation have been made from the negatives, which Montonen photographed in the 1920s and 1930s. The digitalization has been conducted by the Mikkeli Centre of Photography.