IMG_0842_40x50-BW_2.jpg
_MG_1379_40x50_2.jpg
LC4K9900_100x70.jpg
kylmala_0023_24x30.jpg
IMG_0808_16x20.jpg
IMG_0310_50x40.jpg
_MG_2409_24x30.jpg
_DSC3426.jpg
_DSC3248.jpg
_MG_3282_56x70_2.jpg
_MG_7838_70x56s_aber.jpg
_MG_3207_24x30BW.jpg
sauna_010.jpg
kylmala_0009.jpg
IMG_0507_0455_56x70.jpg
IMG_0338_56x70.jpg
_MG_3384_16x20.jpg
_MG_1193_56x70.jpg
_DSC3300.jpg
_MG_5378_56x70.jpg
 

Sauna Folk

For Finns, sauna is simultaneously a sacred and a mundane place. Whether you’re a skinhead, vegan or transvestite, you’re always warmly welcomed onto the benches of sauna. It is a part of the Finnish fortune and folklore, which should be cherished. 

Every Finn has his own personal relationship with sauna, but the tradition is often carried out in a group. There are as many ways to go to sauna as there are  people. In Finland there are 3.2 million saunas, more than one sauna per two people. As the sauna is affirmative - we are all naked and sweaty, alone or together - sauna does not value a person.

There is something to be learned from the equalizing effect of sauna, especially now during times of increasing inequality. Jussi Puikkonen's series Sauna Folk shows a wide and colorful spectrum of saunas - there are many saunas, sauna folks, sauna landscapes and sauna moments. The sensitivity of Puikkonen’s work displays the controversy, ruggedness, melancholy, beauty, brutality and unevenness of whole  Finnish culture. This is genuinely self-reliant and pure, something which is not immediately understood in every corner of the world.

The inspiration for this body of work, Puikkonen got when becoming an emigrant - he has been working in Amsterdam since 2007. "Sauna is something I miss from Finland. Ialso reflects the local mindset where people are treated equally - or at least I wish they could continue to do so - and everyone can appreciate the sauna experience without regard to the social class or the political orientation. "

While looking at Puikkonen's sauna pictures it is difficult not to think of what they tell about Finland. The distance from the day-to-day sauna opened the eyes of the photographer to the whole variety and the meaning of sauna. The introvert Finns relax and chatter at least in the sauna.