Artist: Alexander Salvesen  Location: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Artist: Alexander Salvesen  
Location: Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

“The artwork creates an infinite loop of energy between the sun, the earth, the leaf and the viewer.“

The artwork is based on photosynthesis and the cyclical motions of carbon on Earth. Photosynthesis is still the most efficient way to suck out CO₂ from the atmosphere and restore equilibrium on Earth. Trees and forests are also of vital importance in the fight to slow down the ecological collapse. Every tree matters now. Every leaf.

In 1961, Melvin Calvin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his research on the carbon dioxide assimilation in plants” that he did with Andrew Benson and James Bassham. Together they managed to finally explain how sunlight allows plants to fix carbon dioxide onto all the compounds they need to grow and reproduce.

Sunlight is the ultimate fuel. It makes us see in the day, keeps us warm and is the motor for Earth’s vital climate systems. We already have all the energy we need out there. Take it and use it. The sun is the sender and the leaf is the receiver. You are the receiver.

The hand painted glass slides projected with old analog Pani-projectors on the facade of The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities are inspired by old East Asian wood carvings and ink paintings of nature. It is also affected by the natural growing world outside the museum, and by the beautiful patchwork of Japanese Boro-textiles where nothing is wasted and everything is reused.

The artwork leans especially on eastern zen philosophy and the act of drawing an ensō circle, which symbolises absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the whole universe and the space between everything.

Thanks to the Royal Opera for the loan of the PANI projectors.

Installation supported by: The National Museums of World Culture and The Finnish Institute

Alexander Salvesen

Alexander Salvesen

Visual Artist

Alexander Salvesen is a visual artist based in Helsinki, Finland. He primarily works with different visual mediums, from light to oil painting to glass or space. In his works he often focuses on colour and spatiality and especially their relations to each other and to the viewer.

Currently, Salvesen is particularly interested in the complexity of our perception, the puzzling concept of time and our obsession with speed, travel and vanity in a time of ecological collapse. He is also endlessly fascinated by the ever changing world we live in where seasons follow each other and life blooms into existence and decays effortlessly back into the basic building compounds of matter.

Alexander Salvesen is especially known for his light artworks which have been exhibited in galleries, museums and light art festivals in Finland, Europe and Japan.


Social Media:
Instagram: @Zalvesen

Portrait photo by:
Mateus Manninen