Born in 1986, residing and working in Vaasa, Finland, Lana Haga is a multidisciplinary artist—working in sculpture, painting, and installation—best known for implementing and transforming post-industrial matter into new objects, marked by monochromatic and often vivid colour. Three-dimensional paintings, text-paintings supported by unconventional surfaces, sculptures, and in-situ installations evoke analogies referring to existential struggles of the human condition but also the lingering effects of industrialisation and pollution, material displacement, climate change, and the luring existence of a world beyond our nature.
From a visual perspective, Lana Haga’s works are marked by both versatility and continuity as she continues reinventing her artistic practice, visualising and revisiting her message in new forms, processes, and disciplines. At the root of this play of balance and creative queste, there is an ongoing interplay of contrasts: the baroque or vernacular character of the twists and turns of post-industrial matter versus the minimal influence on the overall aesthetics and the serene presence of the final object; the nature of the matter ranging from ancient animal and plant matter to the use of industrialised compounds; or the constant interaction of opposites in terms of soft versus hard, matte versus reflective, organic versus artificial.
Although her practice is marked by the overall presence of a natural sculptural quality—regardless of the medium in question—initially, Lana Haga was interested in three-dimensional painting, exploring the conceptual notion of a third dimension in a two-dimensional model. For instance, in her ongoing series of sculptured paintings titled Protrusions, textile in the form of post-consumer cotton is unified by adhesive and acrylic medium on canvas. This third dimension in a two-dimensional model reflects on personal transformation—with some Freudian influence—resulting in a contemplative and fluid amalgam of matter. The result of a serendipitous process led to the introduction of industrial compounds. Haga naturally encounters another dimension in studying the historical trajectory of matter, analysing material properties, and intertwining organic processes spanning millions of years with the lasting effects of human material interventions.
Her characteristic sculptures—think of Red Giant (Yellow) (2022) or Vastitas Borealis (2021)—are the result of a similar transformative practice, using acrylic and epoxy on post-industrial plastic to create her often stalactites-esque colourful sculptures. As an alchemist, she challenges the material attributes and transforms them. By doing so, Lana Haga contemplates the limitations, effects and possibilities of human material in(ter)vention. In Thousand Possibilities in a Thousand Possible Realities (2023), instead of uncovering an additional dimension through transformation, she opens up on cumulative and endless dimensions, where not only the organic clashes with the industrial but also with parallel realities in its reflection, going beyond matter and opening up towards the idea of the multiverse.
In-situ installations such as Virgin Soil (2021) and anthropomorphic installations such as This Old Thing (2022), but also most recently in the form of text-paintings—think of If You Nothing To Say, Say Nothing (2023) and Living The Dream with One Eye Closed (2022)—are natural extensions of her serendipitous exploration of matter, dimensions, specific incentives, completing and reinventing her multidisciplinary artistic practice. By doing so, Lana Haga also explores intimate and personal concepts and socio-political issues, encompassing warfare, identity, shame, guilt, cancel culture and privilege.
With a background in digital storytelling and innovation—as she graduated from the Digital Creative Business School in Karlskrona, Sweden, in 2007—her artistic journey started in 2009 while residing in London, followed by a period of extensive travelling, nurturing, and developing her artist persona.
Notable institutional exhibitions include the solo presentation at the Kunsthalle Vaasa (2022), Finland, and participating in group shows at the Ostrobothnian Museum (2023) in Vaasa, Finland; the CICA Museum (2020) in Gimpo, South Korea; or at the Royal Academy of Arts (2015) in London, the United Kingdom. Haga has been awarded various grants courtesy of the Nygrén Foundation (2023), the Paulo Foundation (2022), the Arts Promotion Center Finland (2022), and the Swedish Cultural Foundation (2022). She has been exhibited and/or represented by various national and international art galleries, including Galleria Seinä in Helsinki, Finland; the Neon Art Gallery in London, the United Kingdom; Tsivrikos Shake Gallery in London, the United Kingdom; and Blond Contemporary Gallery in London, United Kingdom; and has participated in various international art fairs, such as the London Art Fair.
Written by Julien Delagrange, art historian, CAI Gallery Director
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