After 100 Years in Portugal

Tuomas Koskialho

2011 - 2012

I was in Portugal for 6 months and I wanted to get to know their culture. I decided to study their art history - art is always an expression of time and it tells something important about the place where it was made. That's how I became acquainted with José Malhoa's paintings. Malhoa has been called as a "sculptor of light" but it wasn't the technique which got me interested, it was the subject: normal people doing their everyday things. However it didn't look very normal to me. The strong gender roles weren't visible anymore.

In my work paintings have turned into photographs, time has passed by and some things had changed. I tried to figure out what by printing Malhoa's most interesting paintings on A4 paper sheets and taking them with me when I went out looking for similar locations in the city of Porto. Now I was looking for normal people doing their everyday things. I went to talk to random strangers, showed them my paper sheets and asked if I could take a photo of them. My method was both impulsive and organized at the same time and that combination is now telling a story about Portugal from my point of view.

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