Elina Moriya is a Finnish and Japanese visual artist and photographer working with photography and video. She was born in Japan, grew up in Finland and is currently based in London. In her teens, she started photography whilst studying in US. She has always seen the creative process as a journey of questions, where the accent is put on the one who asks the questions, why and from which perspective.
Her practise often investigates the viewer’s relationship to their perception underlining the crucial role that the individual, communal and cultural memory plays in this. Often presenting unexpected combinations of visuals, values or symbols, she likes to play with alternative realisations or explanations in the diversity of the values that might exist. Questioning the role of language, as well as the sensual, haptic, emotional when we give meanings to images, she likes to investigate how much contextual information is needed to carry us across into the familiar?
Elina is interested in encounters arising from multiple disciplines, and blurs the boundaries between constructed and documentary photography, a fine art and film practice. She also combines communal and individual cultures with various languages in an aim to expose an unfamiliar area where assumptions that might seem self evident are often challenged and manifested via unfamiliar visual outcomes. This questions the predominant representations and what is accepted as a recognisable narrative, acknowledged visuals, appropriate aesthetics or correct paradigm.
Via deconstruction and integration she is often investigating the elements influencing our perception. Her work distinguishes between cultural imagery and how it informs our sense of aesthetics and visual grammar, highlighting the disjunctions between individual, communal and cultural memories and evoking sensual experiences and embodied knowledge that are silent, unwritten and intangible.
Video still from ‘The Ghost that Wasn’t’ (2013)
The Ghost that Wasn’t (2013)
2-screen video installation with audio
Elina Moriya’s fascination for Finnish and Japanese folklore ghost stories led her on a journey to investigate what ghosts represent and the values they echo in both cultures. Questioning how values and beliefs are rooted within history and how they are passed on from one generation to the next, Moriya searched for cultural cues that are visible but silent, intangible yet tactile.
In the video, predominant narratives from ghost films are deconstructed and reframed to form new narratives.
On two screens events are simultaneously occurring across multitude of locations in mixtures of visual grammars, symbols, aesthetics and styles, operating in multidimensional, subconscious paradigms and conceptual frameworks. However, none of the resulting elements can be placed into fixed locations nor can be attributed a verifiable source. This challenges what is recognised as an acknowledged visual grammar, with its related aesthetics and an appropriate paradigm, and ultimately all answers remain as floating as the images.
Artist Statement for the “The Ghost that Wasn’t”
The work as been exhibited at:
2014 “FreshFaced+WildEyed 2014”, The Photographers’ Gallery, London
2013 “MA Photography Degree Show”, University of the Arts, London
Memory In Metamorphosis (2013) CLIP
Digital silent video
4’20”, endless loop
2013 10×10 with Lucinda Douglas Menzies at Four Corners Gallery
“Memory In Metamorphosis” operates at the edge of memory, where traces of our sensory experiences and recollections of our knowledge are dancing, engaging in various dialogues. Acting as a canvas of our interpretations, apparent impressions are reassembled whilst habituating new encounters and reflections.
Smokescreen (2013) CLIP
3-screen video projection with audio
2013 10×10 with Lucinda Douglas Menzies at Four Corners Gallery
2013 “MA Photography Interim Show”, University of the Arts, London
“Smokescreen” aims to take the viewer on a journey where familiarities from two cultures conjoin. The resulting unfamiliar space challenges appearances and assumptions that might initially seem to be given. A mixture of symbols, aesthetics, visual grammars and cultural images aim to form new dialogues, interpretations and experiences.
by Elina Moriya and Miika Osamitsu
Multi-sensory photography installation with text, scent and sound
2011 at Teasmith Gallery, London, UK
Is your home where your heart is?
Or is it where your breath emanates?
Where is your homeland when you are sleeping?
The exhibition concentrates on the theme of home and the variety of ways in which we conceptualise and experience home and its counterpart homelessness.
This exhibition includes an essay on the subject. The philosophical posture is central to the collaboration and the series as a whole, so that visual, audible and textual layers are inseparable from each other. This is how the collaboration started in the first place, by a deep philosophical conversation in the midst of photographs and sounds, by a realisation that a home can vanish in an instant, by tsunami, by earthquake, by war, by phone call, by arising of a thought.
Miika Osamitsu’s Essay
”A Journey Through” (as emoriya showreel 2009)
Digital video with audio
2012 Photomonth International photography festival / Rich Mix, London
2012 East End Film Festival, Films by Photographers for the Cine-East Programme Protein Gallery, London
2011 (id)art_fest_2011 – International Festival of Videoart by International Dynamic Museum of Contemporary Art, Italy
2010 11th International Festival of Photography and Media “lAbyRinTh”, Poland and Germany
The inspiration for the story is the traditional Japanese narrative scrolls which have a pictorial rather than narrative form. In my story, much like in the scrolls, the audience becomes a traveller and is offered the experience of moving through space and time. Multiple vanishing points are used to generate a sense of depth and perspective and the roads or paths are used to lead the viewer’s eye into the work to give the sensation of being inside different worlds.
Created, photographed, directed and animated by Elina Moriya
Music by Underdogs: “Do You Believe”
Assistant animation by Ann Xiao, Yuki Kijima
Molende – Stories of Congolese Perseverance (2006)
Photography exhibition with sound
2006 at the Museum of Cultures, Helsinki, Finland
Molende is Lingala (one of Congo’s main languages) and means perseverance.
During the past decade the Republic of the Congo has been ravaged by civil war. Congolese people have had to focus on their own survival, which they have done with incredible zest and perseverance.
Molende is a photography exhibition and a book compiled of Elina Moriya’s photographs. The captions in the book are put together from correspondence with Congolese pen friends. Molende shows the Congolese smile – and what is behind it.
Molende Exhibition at the Museum of Cultures
Molende images in Lunatic Magazine #4
Ichi Go Ichi E (2001)
Photography exhibition and installation
2010 “lAbyRinTh”, 11th International Festival of Photography and Media, Poland and Germany
2003 French Culture Centre in Pointe Noire, The Republic of the Congo
2002 Gloria Cultural Arena in Helsinki, Finland
Ichi Go Ichi E is a series of photographs introducing casual passers-by from different corners of the world. They have been asked to pose spontaneously for the photograph on the street, and have been shot in natural light for just 5 to 10 minutes. Afterwards the portraits have been combined to various background locations.
‘Ichi Go Ichi E’ is Japanese, and translates as ‘once in a lifetime’ in English. Highlighting the fact that an encounter might never re-occur.
Elina Moriya’s Homepage