"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Showing posts with label exhibitions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exhibitions. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hong Kong Hot Shots

Last Saturday I got to see an exhibition by a group of professional photographers based in Hong Kong collectively known as HKPPN. The exhibition was titled The Portfolios 10 Exhibition and featured a variety of intriguing works showing at The Central Oasis, a busy public space in downtown Hong Kong. 

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

To be honest, I actually found this exhibition by pure accident while on a short visit here before returning home to Finland from a holiday in Australia. While not a serious photographer myself I do enjoy this artform and take a lot of inspiration from it. I also appreciate good photography when I see it. If I ever get a proper camera for myself one day I can only pray to produce results like those seen here in Hong Kong. 

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Anyway, after spending several hours walking around the huge metropolis that in Hong Kong, this sudden find was an instant oasis of calm and enjoyment for me. Having arrived back home I found out more about this exhibition and was quite surprised to see the amount of work involved in producing this show.

Click image to enlarge

For example, the exhibition's official poster was an achievement in itself. Here's a short video of it's creation. While involving some hard work, it certainly looks like these guys had a lot of fun too!
More photos from this exhibition can be found on the HKPPN Facebook profile here.

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- Alan


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eyes without a face

Okay, so this blogpost has nothing to do with Billy Idol's hit song of the 1980's 'Eyes without a face', but hey it's a catchy title, so it might attract a few new readers to my blog via taglines!

What my blog is about is this....

Last June I posted a request for photos featuring peoples' eyes on my own Facebook page and a few other pages. I didn't get a lot of offers, but received enough for what I required. Firstly I want to thank those who helped me out, especially those of you from the IESAF Facebook group (International English Speakers Association of Finland). 
The photos I received where used to complete a series of four paintings which are to be exhibited by myself at the Stoa Culture centre in Helsinki this September and October 2013. It is part of a themed art exhibition called Reflections/Heijastuksia being held by the HIAA (Helsinki International Artists Association). There are 14 other visual artists participating alongside me at this exhibition which holds it's opening night this Tuesday, 24th September at 18.00-20.00. All of you are welcome to come and join myself and the other artists as we celebrate the association's 5th anniversary! The exhibition will run until 13th October 2013. For anyone using Facebook, an event page has been created here.

Here's a short video I put together showing the four paintings I will be including as part of the exhibition. 
The eye being an instrument of reflection can determine opinion and an individuals judgement of what it sees. One person's reflection of a vision is a separate account and will usually differ through analysis to that of another person. Such is my interpretation and approach to this exhibition theme of Reflections.

I hoped you liked my little video and hopefully you can make it to the exhibition. 
My apologies to any Billy Idol fans who may have stumbled on to my blog, here's that song you wanted to hear!

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.


You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan 

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double Vision

Last week I got to attend two opening events on the Finnish art calendar. I had also hoped to attend a third exhibition only to be stopped by bad weather. But nevermind!

The first exhibition I attended was at the Fokus Gallery on Monday, 8th October in Karis, Finland.  The artist exhibiting was Catarina Honkaharju  and the show was titled 'Kohtaamisia' meaning 'encounters' or 'meetings' in english. Among the many paintings on display was 'Valon Taika' or the Magic of Light in english, a wonderful oil-on-canvas depicting a collection of trees in front of golden yellow sunlight. This painting appealed to me for it's bright colours and the feeling of positivity and hope for which it radiated. A sample of this painting can been seen in this advert below for Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition. Those of you lucky enough to be able to attend the gallery will find out what I mean.

As the artist illustrates, Catarina Honkaharju's images of nature can describe or suggest a person's state of mind, often opening and displaying features of strength or weakness. Expect to see a variety of colours and subjects as this is achieved.
There are also other paintings to see at this exhibition which do not involve nature. The artist's states that she has examined the interaction between the environment and people, and how such encounters affect the private and public life of individuals. Here is another sample of the art you can find at this exhibition. This is called  'Vihdoinkin vapaa' which means 'Free at last'. 

Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition continues at the Fokus Gallery, Karis until 27 October, 2012.

Catarina Honkaharju - 'Vihdoinkin vapaa'


The second exhibition I want to mention is 'Off the Skin' which opened last Tuesday October 9th. This was a special exhibition which began it's planning two years ago as a collaboration between two individual artists, each working with different forms of art. The first, Petri Horttana, works with various aspects in painting and sculpture, while the second, Jesse Laitinen, is a fashion photographer working with some of Finland and Sweden's top models. After meeting at an exhibition back in 2010 they discussed with each other and talked about both their individual skills and the possibilty of combining their talents. And so it was that the 'Off the Skin' project was born.

Two years later and their creation has matured to greet the public as a three-week show at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki.  The result has not been a disappointment and the positive reaction from guests at the opening night was evidence of a promising and successful exhibition.  Considering how miserable the weather was on the night this event attracted a sizeable audience. With barely enough room to move at the entrance to the main room, I had to shuffle my way through to the second area of the gallery, stopping off for some much appreciated wine and cheese snacks. Having spent twenty minutes looking at some of the art I finally got to speak with one of the artists Petri Horttana. It was interesting to hear from him about the various processes used to attain the creations I saw before me. I must admit though, the first thing I noticed was the source of the material they had used as a base for their images. Having worked in a printing house for many years before coming to live in Finland I immediately recognised old aluminium printing plates. This added another dimension to the art for me, almost nostalgic!  I'm all for using recycled products in art wherever possible and this was a good example.

Moving on to the images themselves, most were flat-surfaced works in a variety of natural and luminous colours. Several had the added treatment of a hard glaze and a three-dimensional element created by Petri Horttana. The photographic images taken by Jesse Laitinen were both beautiful and striking to the viewer. It is clear that the combination of both areas of art complemented each other to create a common visual language. For me personally, I found this exhibition to be very fresh and quite an inspiration. If you happen to be in Helsinki any time soon, pop in and take a look yourself. The exhibition 'Off the Skin' continues at the Ant Gallery until November 2nd 2012. 
I suppose it would be only fair to add this as a recommendation for World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012. Here's a few photos of Jesse and Petri relaxing with their series of paintings called 'Neoflage' in the background.

Jesse Laitinen and Petri Horttana finally get time 
to chill out after a busy opening at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki. 
Photos;Alan Hogan 09/10/2012

Finally I want to play a video here before I end this blog. 
It's a little song by one of my favorite bands the Fountains of Wayne. The song is called 'Strapped for Cash'. It's a great tune!  As most of my online media comes through free websites it helps when visitors visit the ad links on my pages. It may only mean a few pennies or cents, but it could help towards building a better website aswell as paying for a little sugar in my coffee. ........ I like sugar! ...So, give a little, helps a lot!!!

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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan 


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Soft Parade

Sorry, I had planned to write this blogpost earlier, but a few incidents such as entertaining Irish visitors in Finland, an anti-virus meltdown on my computer and a few important barbeques amongst other things got in the way. But anyway, here it is now!

artist Emmi Vartiainen and dj Ville Kotka at Jade Gallery in Helsinki
I didn't want to forget about writing this post for a wonderful art exhibition I attended earlier this month, especially as there's still plenty of time to visit it. The opening of Emmi Vartiainen's exhibition entitled 'Soft' took place at Jade Gallery in Helsinki on Friday 4th May. The exhibition continues until the end of May 2012. 

I had seen some of the artist's work previously through online social media, but I wanted to see more of her creations and view them in person. I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about seeing this exhibition as I detected a major influence of Manga art, an eastern art form which I find a little uninteresting and used as a 'street-cool' art for far too long now. But having seen Emmi Vartiainen's artwork I could only feel a slight influence of the manga. On the contrary, I felt there was more influence from the art nouveau style from the late 19th-century. Names such as Klimt and Czech art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha come to mind.
When viewing Vartiainen's work one can't help but feel relaxed. This may be because of mellow colours and a softness to the atmosphere they create. However, there is a touch of the grotesque and macabre in her paintings. It is introduced in a soft manner though, and only adds to each painting's individual appeal. I enjoyed the mix of old school nouveau, street cool modern imagery and subtle decadence.  

Emmi Vartiainen -  inhale

Having looked at all of the art on view at the exhibition I got chatting with dj Ville Kotka who accompanied Emmi's art with a musical mix of tasteful background beats and tunes. I had a pleasant talk with both the artist and the dj about a lot of things including their hometown Lahti, music, history and of course Emmi's art. 
I managed to buy a small print while I was there, which the artist happily signed for me. It was a copy of the main image used for the art exhibition. Here it is below, it's called 'Little Star'.

Emmi Vartiainen - little star

I highly recommend this exhibition if you happen to be visiting Helsinki. If you are on Facebook, you might like to visit the event page here. Or you can find details at the Jade Gallery website here. 

Thanks for reading my blog and please share it with all your friends. 
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Monday, January 30, 2012

Fancy Nails and the alternative space!

When I'm not seeking exhibition space or gallery representation I usually like to look out for alternative spaces to show my artwork. It's something that's important to me as I realise that not everybody has the time to visit art galleries during these busy days. Last year I was part of a group art exhibition in one such space at the Sanomatalo building in the centre of Helsinki, Finland. 

Sanomatalo corridor gallery space, Helsinki, Finland.

This is a large building with various shops, restaurants and offices. It also has two open spaces for exhibitions, one being the corridor gallery where I exhibited my work along with other members of the Helsinki International Artists Association (HIAA). 

The exhibition was titled 'Work in Progress' and this was the poster I designed for the exhibition.

I had the pleasure of exhibiting next to work by Lynda Addison, a wonderful stained-glass artist from England. 

The Sanomatalo space worked really well for me as there seemed to be a constant flow of visitors in and out of the building and I also observed a few office workers pausing at everyone's artwork during their lunchbreak. I was a busy office worker myself once upon a time back in Ireland, so I understand the busy schedule involved with such a job in the city. It was especially nice and appreciative to have my art noticed by people who wouldn't normally have time for a visit to a regular art gallery. And well, everybody is entitled to a view on art. 

'Thoughts of Summer' 2008 - Alan Hogan at Il Duetto, Kamppi, Helsinki.

On an occasion back in 2009, I had a month-long art exhibition at another alternative space also in Helsinki. This time it was a very nice Italian restaurant called 'Il Duetto' at the Kamppi centre. A perfect place to sit quietly, have a nice meal and muse at some artwork on the walls. Here's an old video I made at the time.

Life is full of different people from all walks of life. Different backgrounds, lifestyles, jobs and certainly different opinions. More reasons why I was delighted when one of Helsinki's nicest up-and-coming young entrepreneurs asked if I would be interested in showing my paintings at her place of business. The entrepreneur in question is the lovely Veera Nissi who owns and runs her very own nail design studio called 'NDN', right in the heart of Helsinki. 

NDN Nail Studio location in Helsinki, Finland

Of course, while I myself don't feel the need to have my nails done, there are plenty of nice people who do. And these are the people who I hope in time will come and take a look at my paintings while having their nails looked after at NDN nail studio. I must also mention that Veera, the multi-talented owner of NDN also offers other services such as facial beauty treatments among other things. Full details are on her website.

Presently, visitors and clients to NDN can see these two original paintings at the studio (shown below). Both are for sale.

'Helsinki Cathedral'- 2010, acrylic on canvas (70cm x 50cm)
Original for sale exclusively from NDN studio Helsinki - price €500

'The Snow Tree'- 2009, acrylic on canvas (35cm x 45cm)
Original for sale exclusively from NDN studio Helsinki - price €200

Visitors to NDN studio also have the chance to buy a print of my painting 'Finnish Cat' right now in a white frame with glass for only €60 (size 40cm x 30cm approx.) 
This print and the original paintings will remain available exclusively at NDN studio in Helsinki until the end of February 2012.

'Finnish Cat'- 2008,  white-framed print  (30cm x 40cm approx)
 from NDN studio Helsinki - price €60

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