Iittala X Sergei Pavlov
All images © Sergei Pavlov, courtesy of the artist and Iittala

Exhibition at Design Lab Gallery, Iittala & Arabia Design Centre, Helsinki

The exhibition is open from March 9, 2024 to August 25, 2024.

On March 9, 2024, the photography exhibition "Kaiku" (Echo) by Sergei Pavlov opens at the Design Lab Gallery in Helsinki. In his art, Sergei Pavlov, a prominent Finnish photographer, seeks to capture the essence of the people, places, and experiences that unfold in his own life.

Impressed by Pavlov's creative expression, Iittala invited him for an artistic collaboration in 2023. Pavlov's portraits are often set in natural environments, evoking the natural forces and philosophical principles that similarly inspire Iittala's creations – such as flowing water, sunlight, and the diverse elements and shapes found in the earth. The collaboration reflects Iittala's commitment to working with artists and engaging in interdisciplinary art projects to foster cultural dialogue and ignite creativity.

The collaboration resulted in a series of evocative photographs, now showcased in the "Kaiku" exhibition. Pavlov utilizes analogue photography and black-and-white film, developing his works traditionally in the darkroom. The exhibition showcases 12 photographs, including both new and old works from his portfolio.
Iittala X Sergei Pavlov
Iittala X Sergei Pavlov

Echoes of existence

Pavlov's artistic practice seamlessly intertwines with his life, reflecting on themes of existence, relationships, intuition, intimacy, and emotion. Curator Anna Mustonen explains the essence of Pavlov’s work:

”At the core of Pavlov's artistic philosophy is the belief that photography serves as a potent medium for emotional connection. Navigating the intricacies of human relationships – both romantic and platonic – his portraits at times border on abstraction. Human forms unexpectedly juxtaposed with natural and artificial shapes create curious pairings that leave a space for the viewers to fill with their own interpretation.”

Grounded in the tradition of autobiographical documentary photography, Pavlov establishes profound connections with his subjects, many of whom are close friends. Through this association, he cultivates mutual emotional trust and intimacy that forms the foundation of his photographic storytelling. Delicately Pavlov aims to open viewers to each other, fostering a sense of interconnectedness:

"There is always an ‘us’ instead of an ‘I’," Pavlov says.

Iittala X Sergei Pavlov
Iittala X Sergei Pavlov

Capturing the relationships between design and everyday life

As part of the collaboration with Iittala, Pavlov also created another series of photographs that capture Iittala's glass objects in a timeless, delicate, and humane way. The images highlight the objects' relationship to everyday life and cherished memories.

These images are not presented as part of the exhibition but are featured in Iittala's communication in various channels, inviting the Iittala community to enjoy and reflect on Pavlov's enchanting creative approach.
Iittala X Sergei Pavlov
© Sergei Pavlov, courtesy of the artist and Iittala.

Sergei Pavlov

Born in 1994, Sergei Pavlov discovered his passion for photography at the age of 14 while working in a local newspaper's editorial office in a town called Somero in Finland. Pavlov's photographs have been published in international fashion and culture magazines such as SSAW, Re-Edition, Replica MAN and featured online by i-D, AnOther and Wetransfer. In 2021 he won two awards from Festival du Hyères Villa Noailles in France which we’re nominated to him by Dominique Isserman. After the award, Pavlov’s work continued to grow and has since given him solo shows in Villa Noailles in France in 2022, Museum of Visual Arts Malva in Finland in 2023. In 2024 Pavlov is having two solo shows which are held in Arabia & Iittala Design Centre Design Lab Gallery in Finland and Biennale Les Itinéraires Graphiques in France.