• Made in Bangladesh
  • Reebok
  • Polo
  • Nike

JP Kaljonen

Made in Bangladesh

Viiskulma 10.3.-28.3.2010

JP Kaljonen (b. 1976) is an artist who has dealt with intercultural meeting points and the relationship between majority and minority cultures. The starting point of his work is conceptual, moving on to the practical implementation together with a community that is related to the topic.

The exhibition Made in Bangladesh at the Huuto Gallery Viiskulma consist of a series of photographs and a video work.

In the photos Bangladeshian garment workers pose wearing western fashion clothes. The workers – most of them young girls – imitate positions they have seen in fashion pictures. The clothes are the same the workers make every day, but never wear themselves. After production the clothes are exported to western countries, for example to Europe. There European fashion models show them to local consumers in environments serving commercial goals. In this way disappear the individual and the questions related to working conditions behind the cloth. By contrast the workers are photographed in their immediate environment.

The video follows the clothes journey from Bangladesh to Finnish fashion markets. It shows how the clothes are anchored to new environments and people. In the video the clothes sewn by Bangladeshian garment workers are worn by Finnish professional fashion model.

The garment industry in Bangladesh is a kind of wild east for western companies. To keep the fashion trends rapidly changing the companies produce their garments there with very low costs and tax free. As a gift in return they employ locals. The working days are long, poorly paid and the workers don´t have a chance to organize themselves.

The series of photographs is made in 2009 in Pubic Art Workshop Art can change life organized by Porapara Space for Artists in Chittagong, Bangladesh – in cooperation with local garment workers. The video work is made in 2010 in southern Europe.

Thank you Porapara Space for Artists, Avril Styrman, Satu Tuomisto and all who participated the project.

The exhibition is kindly supported by Art Council of Uusimaa.

For more information please contact to jp(at)kaljonen.com