In 2006 Helminen witnessed the so called Smash ASEM “riot”. There he personally saw the dark side of the Finnish police. How young men hid behind their uniforms and hoods and anonymously committed misconduct. Later he witnessed the reluctance of the justice system to punish those in uniform. Uniforms create unity and through them we can separate a soldier from a civilian. But sometimes we hide inside them to do something really bad. We wear clothes described by religion, profession, political thoughts and tradition to communicate and represent authority, where we belong and how we see the world. Often this hides our true persona and creates walls between ourselves and between the people that we meet. The characters in my works are the prisoners of these traditions and walls that we’ve created for ourselves. How close can we, the viewers, get to characters that have so much of their personality taken away from them?
About Juha Arvid Helminen
Juha Arvid Helminen (b. 1977 in Helsinki) works as a freelancer photographer, artist and a teacher. He graduated in 2010 from Lahti University of Applied Sciences as a photographer (BA). Helminen’s work deals with the misuse of power in society. Helminen’s work has been featured in prestigious magazines like Eyemazing (Netherlands), PhotoRaw (Finland) Membrana (Slovenia) and many others. This Spring, Helminen’s work will be featured also in the contemporary photography magazine Exit (Spain). His work has also been in numerous galleries’ walls in Germany, Colombia, Switzerland, France, Nepal and USA, and he had his first solo exhibition in the respected photography gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki, 2013.