2015 Back to Sources – for Exhibition catalogue at Hangzhou China IMPACT 9th International Printmaking Conference


2015 Back to Sources – for Exhibition catalogue at Hangzhou China IMPACT 9th International Printmaking Conference

born 1957 in Helsinki, Finland
Independent Visual Artist and Printmaker
Teacher in Printmaking at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture/ Department of Art / Printmaking Studios / Helsinki Finland
Back to Sources
Combining elements of a foreign and faraway culture with personal and familiar photographs has allowed me to constantly acquire new perspectives in my own work, says Anita Jensen in describing her work.

Interpreting the traditional through new techniques and materials

Jensen calls her works surreal photomontages. The pieces have been printed as different-sized pigment prints on various Western and Japanese printing papers, as well as on other materials. The works form spatial ensembles in addition to being additional prints. Traditional Japanese hanging scrolls have been the source of inspiration in her work in order to combine old and new; technigues and materials unprejudiced way.

The tone of Jensen’s works is also built upon the expertise of Japanese papermaking. The pieces strive to showcase the sensitivity and beauty of different types of paper. Jensen has cooperated with both Japanese and Finnish paper industry experts. Erja Huovila, a bookbinder and papermaker from Fiskars, will be continuing cooperation with Jensen to develop and tailor Japanese layouts for Jensen’s impending exhibitions.

Artist Profile for Anita Jensen

Photographer and graphic artist Anita Jensen graduated from the Finnish Academy of Arts in 1985. She has worked at Aalto University for 24 years as a gravure-printing teacher. During this time, she has focused her courses on developing and teaching the newest techniques and applications in photography-based graphics, such as the Photo Polymer-Gravure and ImagOn gravure techniques. Jensen has also implemented acrylic-based and water-soluble gravure-printing techniques in teaching graphic art.

Jensen has been awarded multiple domestic and foreign awards. Today, Jensen lives and works in her own studio the Myllypuro Artist Village in Helsinki.

Back to sources: further studies in Chinese painting, visuality and mood
Next I would like to challenge myself in studies of traditional Chinese way of painting and visual interpretations. I wish to study in depths, deep and wide, traditional Chinese techniques and interpretations of nature to find the new way to combine old photographs with natural motifs. Old Chinese tales and symbols will be reviewed and given new interpretations, but moreover I wish to use them open-minded, creatively in new contexts.
Taking one step further, even deeper back to sources, I wish to catch the very special intense and passionate feelings that these old Chinese picture scrolls contain.
In Finland, as in the West in general, we have only a superficial knowledge of traditional Chinese ink painting, but Chinese art challenges us to think more about our own world-view. Art can serve as a key in our efforts to understand China, its culture, and gives possibility to create our own relationship with its rich and colourful history. This challenge I would like to face next in my ever ending artistic advancement.
“My art draws attention to the transience of moments, to deformation and the forms and variations of Japanese beauty. It introduces new perspectives on the forms of presentation in visual art, its techniques and materials in the area of photography and graphic art.

Actively practicing visual artist for 30 years in graphic fine art and photography and
working for 24 years as teacher of graphic art at Aalto University School of Arts and Design.
See attached biography and CV for a detailed list of prizes and honors received at exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

I have been a full-time visual artist since 1985. In the early years I focused on intaglio etching techniques, and was soon developing my own methods, which enabled me to produce very large multicolored intaglio prints.
From the mid-1990s, I spent ten years studying the photo-polymer and ImagOn gravure techniques. In the last ten years, I have focused on pigment printing with large-format inkjet printers, using them to test both Western and Japanese materials.

On the basis of the visual material I have accumulated during my work and study trips to Japan in the last 20 years, I have developed a photography-based montage-like visual idiom whose displays adapt Japanese forms of presentation. Developed together with bookbinder Erja Huovila, the presentation forms include horizontal and vertical picture scrolls, screens of various shapes and sizes, as well as several variations of Japanese bookbinding techniques. I then employ these forms to construct spatial installations.

On my last trip to Japan to Awagami Factory in Tokushima in 2012, I got an opportunity to work there as invited visiting artist. Using their AIJP papers developed from Japanese fibers specifically for digital printing, I printed an entire exhibition and had a local Byōbu master make traditional screens and gift boxes of the prints, which were exhibited at the Awagami Gallery. These works were also included in my two latest solo exhibitions in Helsinki.

I follow actively changes and developments in the international field of graphic fine art, and I work as a teacher of printmaking at Aalto University, which enables me to pass on my knowledge and skills to future artists.
Anita has been invited to Guangdong University’s School of Art and Design – as a visiting artist and researcher in fall 2016 together with Bookbinder and Papermaker Erja Huovila .

Thank you for your interest and I wish you will see the uniqueness of this project. I am sure that our co-operation will lead successful results.

Additional information:

Special thanks for:

Arts Promotion Centre, Helsinki Finland.
Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation, Helsinki Finland.
Finnish Kultural Foundation , Finland
Awagami Factory, Tokushima Japan.  
Mr. Shigeki Fujiwara, Tokushima Japan. 
Tuula Moilanen, Finland / Japan
Canon Oy Suomi, Helsinki  Finland.
Marja Hepo-Aho Mafka, Riihimäki Finland.
Erja Huovila Paperitalo, Fiskars Finland.
Print Lab / Aalto University, Helsinki Finland.
Jussi-Pekka Arkkola, Canson Infinity.
Fine Art Printing Hanart, Järvenpää Finland.
Minna Eväsoja, Tapiola Finland.
Marja-Terttu Kiviranta, Finland
Liisa Heikkilä-Palo, Maahenki Oy, Finland