Portraits of "Rooms Hidden by the Water"
Project info

The exhibition text of "Rooms Hidden by the Water" in Finnish National Museum.

"He started in the early 1990s as an interpreter of the unique culture of Tornionlaakso, the Northern borderlands of Finland and Sweden. Since then, the borderland nature of his home district has inspired numerous new photo projects around the world.

Almost by change, Heikkilä’s themes have settled on minority people and populations, those who are outsiders in one way or another as well as those caught under the wheels of change: the Armenians in Armenia and in Diaspora, the Pomors of the shores of the White Sea in Russia, the Vlach people of Serbia, the Karelians of Finland and Russia, the black population of Harlem in New York, the new puplic houses community on the Island of Itaparica in Brazil, the people of Havana Centro in Havana.

His photographs often contain nostalgia for a lost world as well as warm humour.

” Jaakko Heikkilä respect people, and his photos radiate a deep and warm humanity. They record moments, yet simultaneusly they appear to be timeless.”
Ritva Röminger-Czako , Curator, Bonn, Germany
The exhibition ”Silent Talks” 2011

”He does not use artificial lightning, even in dusky interiors photographed in remote villages. This gives his images a deliberative slowness, an almost tactile light and silence, evoking comparisons to the work of Dutch seventeeth-century painters, particularly Vermeer.”

Timo Valjakka, the critic, ArtForum,
”Silent Talks” in Finnish Fotographic museum 2011