Jenna Kähönen (FI)


Finnish artist Jenna Kähönen explores how perceptions of the human body change when its familiar boundaries are no longer clear. Her artworks explore and transcend the boundaries between the self, the body and its surroundings.

In her series ‘Of Beauty and Flesh’ colours have a central role in stretching such boundaries.The warm pastel colours used for the subjects’ skins and their backgrounds blend into one another. The self, subject of the artworks, emerges through a complicated web drawn with contrasting cold tones. The faint pastel colours make the skin appear vulnerable and transparent. This may recall veins or blood vessels internal to the body. On the other hand, as the lines often transgress the outline of the body into the background, they can be seen as tattoos and create the image of a processed body.

Jenna Kähönen

In her latest series ‘Kudos’ Kähönen develops her ideas further. Boundaries become even harder to see and bodies are harder to identify. Figures in her works melt into a richly textured background. The overall effect creates ambivalence in understanding the layered representation of Kähönen’s subjects allowing the viewers the freedom to decide whether they are looking at the inside or the outside of a body. In her artworks, such ambivalence is reinforced by the use of overlapping textures and mixed techniques combining acrylic, ink, watercolours and textiles to leave impressions that recall broken skin or internal tissues. 

Kähönen works question the idea of selfhood and body as a close unity, developing an art which explores body perception and the nature of beauty as a transcendent concept.

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