Residency artists and researchers

Painting, drawing, printmaking

Teemu Korpela


I’m a painter who spends his days pondering ways to see things through art that can’t be seen. My particular area of interest are phenomena that define the way we experience our own existence. These phenomena are often abstract or formless, but through works of art they can be made visible and into something that can be tackled.  

I believe the cause for many of our universal and current problems relating to humanity are to be found in the relationship between our perception of the world and actual reality: we often interpret reality incorrectly, which results in us harming ourselves, others and the environment. Painting is a medium that offers a lot of possibilities for examining and presenting mechanisms of experience, since it brings together many different registers of observation and structure, from the sensory to the symbolic. Painting also offers numerous possibilities for expression, ranging from quick and intuitive to slow and analytical.  

I believe that through the reactions of observation produced by the works, I will be able to examine the way meanings and values are created. We are living in a time of an epistemological crisis of meaning and value. The ways in which we produce meaning in our lives have proven unsustainable. This is why we will have to reassess our relationship with reality. This requires the re-encoding of the symbolic values in our culture that govern our activities. For me, this re-encoding begins with striving to drive more sustainable values through the metaphoric example of my own practice into the reality existing outside the world of art.  

At its core, my work consists of examining the ways our perceptions of matter and concepts change according to how I design an object and whenever I add some other material to it; how the symbolic meanings of images and objects change depending on how and in which context I present them.   

My work includes theoretical research into how meaning is created and transmitted, studying the chemical properties of substances, analysing the effects of various production processes and examining the opportunities offered by new, ecological innovations in materials. I try to apply materials that in themselves contain various cultural meanings and that have a functional analogy with the contents I deal with.    

Although my motives are often didactic, it’s not my intention to limit the creative freedom of art and its content, but to find ways of creating works in such a way that the methods used have a philosophical, practical and ethical relationship with ongoing global processes. For many years, my works have been extremely large, but during my residency, I want to find ways to produce meaning with less material and smaller works.