“100 Hectares of Understanding” is my attempt to understand the 100 hectare area of the forest I own. Throughout adulthood, my relationship with the forest has been somewhat discordant, and my attitude towards this future inheritance has been indifferent. Recent explorations in the forest, and in the world of forestry, have managed to pique my interest in this previously unfamiliar property of mine.

Travel to Distance, 2015. © Jaakko Kahilaniemi, Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

The “100 Hectares of Understanding” project includes both tangible and intangible approaches and visualizations of what the forest and forestry mean to me as well as how the unknown becomes familiar. I study what nature has to offer to urbanized people and try to create new ways of thinking and ways to experience and feel the forest.

I arbitrarily mix various types of pictures with each other, and define them as part of a larger visual entity. My method of working is based on open-minded experimentalism, the belief that experimentation can pave a path to the truth. My photographs are testimonial, traces of my aspirations towards understanding and awareness.

—Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Editors’ note: This project was singled out by the jury of the Emerging Talent Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring projects from this year’s 50 talents!