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Agence VU - Arja Hyytiäinen
Arja Hyytiäinen

Finnish. Born in 1974. Lives between Paris and La Rochelle.

« Completely contemporary, free and demanding, the work of Arja Katarrina Hyytiäinen is part of the today’s school, from the tradition of the street photography, and that has replaced its form to claim the author status. Saying its necessity and its singularity, devoting itself to subjectivity, and influenced by cinematographic aesthetic, the whole work, extremely respectful for representing people, is from a new contemporary humanism,” according to Christian Caujolle.

In just a few years, she has acquired a reputation throughout Europe, particularly where she has lived in Eastern Europe, and become known through her solo exhibitions (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Moldavia, Slovenia). In 2006 she was awarded by the Kodak Prize for Critical Photography and the Fotoestiwal (Poland) Grand Prix in 2007.

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Unique (2010)

During her European journey, Arja Hyytiänien never looks to describe, but is in keeping with the world through her encounters with people. Photography permits her to preserve the emotions of these encounters. Truly contemporary, free and demanding, Arja’s work is part of the present school, issued from the tradition of street photography, that renewed the form of it, to claim an author status.

Budapest (2009)

At the tram stop, mumbled words pierce the ceaseless and echoing rain. Standing there, focused, I try to remember what drove me here to collect these precious moments of life. Something guided me here mid-November, like a dog chasing a bone, with the calming instinctive reassurance that I will find something. I am determined to see past these faces. Paths that lead nowhere. Today, reflecting on what time I have left on this voyage, reminiscing distances myself from all this. In several Balinka bars of Jozsfevaros where the homeless dance to the tunes emanating from the jukebox, I try to answer questions I do not understand. Always: the question on the importance of communication, but...

France, Marseille (2009)

August. As there’d be a mental hangover that residences permanently over Marseille. Closed windowpanes let echo of the occasional bywalker of the burning pavement on the afternoon. The ventilators low humming. A cry of a seagull passing in the harbour. Someone said that the wind drives people mad. Night . Illegal bars. Gatherings of marked faces. Restless energy that circles in the night only to turn back into a hot humid day again where light breaks your vision. Heat like a second skin. Dust turning in circles. Seeking to identify, to capture a moment. Marseilles.


It was a deliberate choice to portrait the mental ill patients the way I did. I started with that project working with a 35mm camera trying to make a documentary of the hospital and the patients. I realized very soon that it was impossible for me to stay objective and I wanted to turn the question around. To produce a series of work that is possible to do with photography. You can portrait a person in so many ways and what is the truth? The image remains as the photographer’s interpretation in every case. So, I depicted those strong faces, so to see if mental illness can be seen in an image. As soon as I understood that there was no possibility for me to be objective, the whole work became...

Republic of Karelia

The rain is ice cold and the wind wines in the house corners. The fishing boats rock across the lake, the dog's scolding dies to the distorted sound of Valteris radio, which leans against the weather bitten fisher cottage's wall, consulted by some unclear words, though a clear day one can hear the echo all over the village Venehjärvi. The whitefish ridicule country; Republic of Karelia in Russia, the place where a song was born of the pike's abdomen, where Elias Lönnrot on 1830’s strolled around collecting materials to the the Finnish nation alder Kalevala. The poet villages where the people and the natura still live in complete balance, handicraft is an inherited matter and the common...

France, fashion week, backstage

When the fashion world is under the critics for the physical health of the models, Arja Hyytiaïnen does not hesitate to show the backstage of the runaway shows of the Parisian fashion week. And the models, as depicted by the photographer, are very skinny indeed. Lonely too. The lcothes they're wearing are the focus point of everybody. Once their turn on the catlwalk over, they are going back to be completely forgotten.

Hero Water, Europe

Christmas and winter time. When the year is changing, people gather around their homes and families. I decided to go the opposite way, traveling through Germany, Poland and Ukraine. Hero Water is a story dealing with intuitive meetings, time and personal recordings on the road to Eastern Europe in winter time. A subjective road story concentrated in one month. The title inspired by the polish vodka that makes you a hero for the moment being. I traveled by train from Paris to Berlin over Christmas, continuing to Poland, Warsaw and Styczhno for the New Year and finally to Kiev and Kirovograd in Ukraine.


Arja Hyytiäinen proposes a journey at the borders of the European Union, where cultures and geostrategic interests meet. But the photographer portrays more than trying to explain. Her pictures are full of moments which have directed her shooting : hanging moments, stretched in time with the help of the photographic action. Arja Hyytiäinen’s pictures seem to come straight out of a dream, and yet, they are the witness of a complete reality, even if this is not the one that we expected.


Arja Hyytiäinen | Carnet d'artiste

For Arja Hyytiäinen, the book has for a long time been a privileged tool. A life diary as well as an experimental lab, her notebooks are full of intuitions and detours. Texts and images are entangled. Deletions, cuts, lines of flight that always leave the door open to new creative possibilities.

"My starting point in photography is to keep track of things. Each experience leaves a mark, and a photograph can become an evidence, fictional or not."
Text by: Christian Caujolle.

Publisher: Filigranes Éditions (2012)
64 pages
Size: 14 X 21 cm  

Distance Now

"Construire une vie dans une maison occupée.
L'hiver. Berlin.
Arrêter des voitures à travers l'Europe. Musique,
Des routes, des forêts.
Baiser dans des lieux publics.
Reconstruire une vie dans un appartement loué. Paris.
Les chansons restent avec moi.
L’abri, quelque part entre la Hongrie et la Slovaquie,
et les rochers en Suède."
Arja Hyytiainen

Publisher: Images En Manoeuvres Éditions (2007)
40 pages
Size: 14,5 x19,5 cm  


    2007 - Fotofestival Award (Pologne)

    2006 - Kodak Award of the critical photographic


Childhood Island (GAP)
From 2020-09-26 to 2021-01-09

To daily intimacy from travel to meeting, Arja Hyytiäinen\'s work fluctuates between documentary, diary and fictional narrative. Her photographs, tender or disturbing, convey a vision that is as subjective as it is emphatic, and conveys her emotions more than just moments. They evoke couple relationships or family models and speak of the exaltation of encounters like the magic and strangeness of childhood. “The Isle of Childhood series is about childhood and identity. From the child\'s perspective, and from my own memories. I work this series partly calm and partly spontaneous depending...

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Family (Toulouse)
From 2015-03-12 to 2015-05-03

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Arja Hyytiäinen / Ali Taptik (Marseille)
From 2012-03-15 to 2012-04-28

L’Atelier de visu shows an exhibition of the works of Ali Taptik and Arja Hyytiäinen, who were invited in the Atelier de visu residency in 2006 and 2008.

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Medans and Journey (La Rochelle)
From 2011-04-07 to 2011-07-09

Photography allows Arja Hyytiäinen to keep some traces of her feelings. For her, the gallery walls are blank pages on which she composes each time a new partition, reinterpreting her images, playing with their formats and presentation...

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Ahnungen - Aavistuksia (Cuxhaven)
From 2010-02-05 to 2010-03-14

The photographer Arja Hyytiäinen is a traveler. Native from the Finnish-Swedish border area, she lives between Berlin and Paris with her camera as sole companion. As a fine observer, she likes to decipher the human being. Whether she is in a small village in Moldova, or in Kreuzberg district in Berlin, she takes pictures of real life and does not hesitate to meet people who are on the fringes of society. She reveals spontaneous situations through black and white pictures. The photographer strongly believes in the decisive instant before it changes, this moment is so intense that the...

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Journey-Medans (Köln)
From 2009-09-25 to 2009-11-06

The V8 gallery in Cologne, shows two series of the Finnish artist Arja Hyytiainen. The work "Journey" with 92 photography representing her main work, and includes several trips to Europe. Intimate feelings of human relationships lead us to the floorboards of Swedish country houses and private apartments in the barren eastern flats, where the mattress on the floor says something about the emotional world of the protagonists and the sheets still exudes the smell of last night. To search for the intensity of the encounter and the photographic examination of the remains of authenticity among the...

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France, Marseille, 2006 (JB Groningen)
From 2009-09-06 to 2009-10-04

August. As there’d be a mental hangover that residences permanently over Marseille. Closed windowpanes let echo of the occasional bywalker of the burning pavement on the afternoon. The ventilators low humming. A cry of a seagull passing in the harbour. Someone said that the wind drives people mad. Night. Illegal bars. Gatherings of marked faces. Restless energy that circles in the night only to turn back into a hot humid day again where light breaks your vision. Heat like a second skin. Dust turning in circles. Seeking to identify, to capture a moment.

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Notatki (Krakow)
From 2008-10-18 to 2008-12-06

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Distance Now (Köln)
From 2008-09-07 to 2008-10-19

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Journey - Europe a Scenario (The Hague)
From 2008-06-28 to 2008-09-21

Marginality, the ”in-between-land” where things can take any turning point depending on how the individual reacts or what she is looking for, where intuitive meetings among the people and sudden events happen.The starting point for photography for me is keeping time. With a life on a constant change and moving, variations on reality has shaped my way of seeing - I have reconstructed what I’ve gone through and experienced to a subjective story in photographs. Journey has grown to be main trace of my life in Europe.Each experience leaves a mark; a photograph perhaps remains as a proof of that,...

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La Poste inspire des Artistes (Paris)
From 2008-03-11 to 2008-10-31

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