Fotografiska

There comes a point where science becomes poetry. When a strictly objective gaze creates an image that allows us to imagine a beauty greater than which we can express. That’s where photography turns more life-like. 

 

I am not  a professional photographer, but of what I learn and believe in photography and by following great artists of the time, I understand photography as one of the strongest art forms existing today. Right from the time of Ansel Adams to all the current gen Instagram-worthy photographers trying to make their space in the ever so saturating field, one thing goes without saying – it is very important to find your subject that you’d love to shoot rather than just focusing on being a good photographer. But it is equally important to find your creative. And nothing in the world can possibly mirror creativity better than the pieces of work in this art-fled studio.

Facing the islands of Kastellholmen and Djurgarden, this museum, Fotografiska – mainly known as the photography museum of Stockholm is built-in a former customs house. It is a massive three storey photo gallery where one can find worlds top photographers works exhibited on rotation.

Credits: www.svt.se

One such opportunity came my way when I was traveling in Stockholm during the last week of December. Honestly Fotografiska wasn’t on my list before I looked up the website and read about the photographers who were exhibited there at the time. In no time the camera enthusiast in me decided to find a way to reach Djurgarden. I stayed very close to the central station and it took me a direct metro rail to Slussen and a quick 12 minute walk hence to reach this beautiful building. I had the Stockholm pass which helped me skip lines and saved up on my entry fee. That’s the one thing I absolutely love about the Stockholm pass – it includes almost everything one would want to see in Stockholm, and it sure is cost-effective.

If I have to describe my experience at Fotografiska in one word, I’d say – Fascinating. Right from the moment I walked into the gallery and laid eyes on hassleblad camera bodies and lenses, I knew I was in for a treat throughout. It took me about 3 hours to read through each photograph, the colors, the angles, the details. The artists that month on exhibit were Nick Veasey, Chen Man, Asa Sjöström and Ida Borg. Each of them echoing their meraki through their own unique cutting edge photography, took me through an extraordinary journey in the making of state of the art masterpieces. Staring up at these daedal photographs, I was in awe of the complexities of art and the simplicities of human life and materialism.

Here I will be taking you back to Stockholm’s December journey. Tip-toe with me through Fotografiska and go speechless at the possibilities of art and creativity.

Nick Veasey

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“I can preserve a child’s smile, make any woman feel beautiful, bring a grown man to tears, fifty years from now and freeze time – What’s your superpower?”

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Most artists claim to delve beneath the surface of their subjects. Most artists fail. And of what I experienced of Nick’s photography technique is that no one can go to such intricate depth of ones core. This man has the imagination, power and creativity to dig deep into the possibilities of daily objects. And what’s crazy is – he seems UNSTOPPABLE. In an unmatchable spirit, Nick Veasey works in his X-ray studio in a rural area outside Maidstone, England. He does not focus on capturing beautiful landscape over shining horizons, nor does he focus on painting portraits. Instead, he has mastered the art of penetrating deep inside any object – living and non-living. The X-ray technique. Look, observe, learn the magic created by Nick Veasle’s X-ray photographic technique. Read as deeply as you want. unravel a photo layer by layer, till there’s nothing left to it – and yet everything.

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I have never seen detailing so closely my entire life. Neither would you.

Chen Man

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Redefining the fine line between Fashion photography, Art, Painting and Graphic design, Chen Man masters the art of photo-manipulation technique. She was the first one to learn, use and master Photoshop in China. She would spend months on her computer creating and recreating one image.

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Flying with fearlessness and sitting at the edge of the curiosity-cliff, Chen Man shocked the chinese art world bringing in a whole new revolution to the visual world single-handedly.

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Ida Borg

Taking on life simple pleasures and building art off them, is a skill many possess. But the sheer perfection and elegance is what defines Ida Borg’s work of art. In – Hygiene – A circle of life, Ida captures the daily emotions of the life cycle of a lay man. In the mindset of educating people about the importance of Hygiene, Ida says, ” No matter where you find yourself in the cycle of life, hygiene is what stays with you, and your health should be of primary concern”.

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In her series, Ida has captured people of different ages and nationalities, from across the world to bring together the basic necessity of one thing that unites us all – Hygiene. Photography is an all-inclusive art form which is why it has the power to reach the mind, body and soul of anyone hence provoking newer perspectives.

Asa Sjöström

“I see myself in those I photograph and I often wonder what it would be like if their lives had been mine. The connection feels personal, as if we share a story, but one that is not my own”.

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Asa captures the story of a silent land. A land she walked into and fled herself with overwhelming emotions. Moldova, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, is the poorest country in Europe (2005). On her 3 month long trip, she captured faces of prisoners, victims of human trafficing and domestic violence. Feeling incomplete even after capturing the souls of what made Moldova, she realised that she hadnt looked close enough. That was the moment when she put herself in the place of the locals, observed the details and encountered in the people of Moldova, strong integrity, will power and a fierce sincerity. She saw people, the poverty and the dignity; the brutal yet fragile life experiences of the people.

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Its a fearlfully dangeorous stunt to put yourself in place of such severity just to capture the heart and soul in a photograph. Asa’s ‘The silent land’ series are a line of brutally honest inhuman realities of this wildly materialistic world we live in.

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Fotografiska introduced me to art like I have never seen before. The multitude of possibilities one can learn just by using a lens, the levels of photojournalism and the numerous ways of visual storytelling is what I take away from this beautiful art museum in Stockholm. If you are a photography enthusiast, take my word for it – YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS PLACE! Go, unlearn everything you have been taught about photography and look at art in a whole new perspective.

FOTOGRAFISKA MUSEET

Stadsgårdshamnen 22
116 45 Stockholm

OPENING HOURS

Sun – Weds 9:00 am – 11: 00 pm
Thurs – Sat 9:00 am – 1:00 am

TICKET PRICES

Adults SEK 135
Students and Seniors SEK 105
Groups (minimum 20 visitors) SEK 105
Children under 12 years free
NB This museum does not accept cash; cards only

When Art meets Life

Have you been to Fotografiska yet? What did you like best?

I enjoyed writing this post. If there is something in specific you would want to know about Stockholm or want me to write about, mention in the comments below and I will get back ASAP. Got any other amazing must-do must-see option in Stockholm? Share me the link and I will read it up too 🙂

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Dreamy Traveler| Seeing the world through my lens| Social media junkie| Bibliophile| Food-a-holic| Music lover

Fika – Lets brew it!

Shhhh… my coffee and I are having a moment. I will deal with you later.

FIKA. BECAUSE. COFFEE. FRIENDS. CONVERSATIONS. RELAX.

 

Halla friends!

As promised, out of my sheer love for cultural learning and oh, COFFEE, this blog’s dedicated to a momentary romance with coffee, or as the Swedes call it – FIKA!

Somewhere on the Island of södermalm, I found a little café on the corner with a board outside that said – FIKA! The word in itself was so sweet to read I was intrigued to google it up. “OK google! What does Fika mean?” “Fika is a coffee break”. My heart the next hyper second – “Wait, coffee? Did I hear Coffee?”

It took me a conversation with three Swedes to understand that Fika after all isn’t ‘JUST’ a coffee break. It’s so much more than that. And boy, do the Swedes hate it being called a coffee break!

My ever so curious mind didn’t stop till I learnt all about Fika (Because, well… coffee). So in my own words I’d define Fika as – a moment of meditation with coffee! More like a concept, a state of mind or a feeling. And feelings have no definite terms of description, aye? (Yup I just got a little philosophical here!)

Fika is a Swedish obsession. The swedes are one of the highest coffee consuming nations in the world (Ranking in the top 10 list). Which is why, Coffee is more than having a break or a pastime for them. Coffee for them is weaving moments of bliss and light hearted conversations with friends and family leaving all your problems behind (nop, they do not discuss problems on the coffee table). And this, my friends, is an integral part of their culture (Fika – every single day! yup.)

So how do you… Fika? You wonder?

I will help break it down for you.

  1. You get yourself coffee.
  2. You add a pastry or a muffin (anything baked basically!)
  3. .. you just FIKA!

The art of Fika is all about leaving all your problems behind and having a moment of bliss and relax. The Swedes believe (and you and I would second them on this), the world is getting busier by the passing minute. Problems are never ending and our hair is graying faster and sooner than ever. It would do no harm to set aside everything and enjoy a happy conversation with a friend… and just FIKA! This, as I said before, being more of a Swedish tradition and obsession, the employers even give their staff a Fika break (maybe even two sometimes). That’s how entrenched it is in the Swedish culture.

Now, as I sit back and sip on my cup of coffee while I write this piece of article here, I think how coffee really is just a ‘to-go’ option for everyone around the world (yes even me!). We all have so much on our plates every single day that a coffee break really means discussing work issues or holding up client meetings. At work a coffee break means heading to a vending machine or the cafeteria and buying yourself that use and throw cup, sipping on it while you are driving or taking the subway. When I was studying in the UK, most of my mornings were filled with coffee on the side while getting dressed or finishing an assignment. Even at the university, I would get myself coffee from the 1 pound coffee maker and run with it to the lecture theater (multitasking, please!). But ever since I got back from Sweden, mum and I try to inculcate this Fika culture in our daily routine. We are both crazy coffee lovers and we sit with our coffees in the balcony and watch the sun rise up every morning. It really is the best moment of my all-so-busy day! A rather relaxed kick start.

What are the rules of FIKA?

One of the many beautiful things about this art is there aren’t really stated rules to fika. Not a coffee fan? Drink tea instead. Don’t like a muffin, pick a croissant or a sandwich. Whatever suits you? You don’t even have to head to a café, you can Fika literally anywhere, even in the comfort of your home.

Sweden and Coffee?

If we go down the road of civilization and walk down the streets with Swedish history, Sweden and coffee have been in a rather complicated relationship from the start.

Coffee entered Sweden like a breath of fresh air in mid-16th century under King Fredrick I. However, he was never a fan of these brown beans and tried to tax the shit out of it to kick it out of their culture. With eventual failures, he then banned coffee. Over years and subsequent successors, King Adolf Fredrick levied heavier taxes on coffee, which lead to coffee smuggling and these bean babies went underground. With secret coffee shops in hidden corners of cities, the Swedish became hitched to coffee. It became an ingrained part of them. They wanted someone to build this as a culture. And hence, enter King Gustav III, from where things got creative and interesting. After several attempts of brainwashing his people against the contents of coffee, failures of PR campaigns downgrading the effects of coffee, the swedes just did not let go. He even ran an experiment where he picked twin brothers (criminals) and tried to prove the harmful effects of coffee. He fed one brother with tea and the other with coffee, each thrice a day to prove that the coffee drinking criminal would die a caffeinated death rather faster than the tea drinking criminal. Not only did both of them survive the test, they also outlived the king (in fact, the coffee drinking criminal even outlived the tea drinker).

The ban on Fika was lifted in the mid-19th century when the youth was high on rage and caffeine. Ever since, coffee and Fika has taken over Sweden like a storm and is now a cool tag.

Let’s all raise a toast to the warrior that lies in the Swedish coffee (wink!).

If you head to Sweden, DO NOT call Fika a coffee break. Just call it… Fika!

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Every day, I try to have a Fika. It helps to sit back on my chair and breath fresh air in the balcony and read a book or listen to music with my strong, dark coffee. That is my Fika!

What is yours?

 

I enjoyed writing this post. If there is something in specific you would want to know about Stockholm or want me to write about, mention in the comments below and I will get back ASAP. Tell me about your Fika experience in the comments below. I would love to read them <3

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Dreamy Traveler| Seeing the world through my lens| Social media junkie| Bibliophile| Food-a-holic| Music lover