aho & soldan

City life - Views of Helsinki in the 1930s


The sons of writer Juhani Aho and painter Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan, established the Aho & Soldan company in 1925. Aho & Soldan’s production peaked in the 1930’s, when their enterprise was the major company producing documentaries in Finland. As photographers they reached fame as part of the avant-garde ABISS group, with a debut exhibition in 1930 that reformed Finnish photographic art.

The photographs at the exhibition focus on modern city life in everyday and festive situations. The setting shows a carefree optimistic spirit in Helsinki preparing for the Olympics as well as construction projects that will renew the cityscape.

Most of the photographs at the exhibition lack information about when and where they were taken. The shots are the result of close co-operation and it is hard to distinguish which one of the two photographers that took any particular picture – in those days this was not even considered that important. Aho & Soldan’s photographs and documentary films reveal the interest in new modern city life and people. Both photographers were undoubtedly fascinated by fresh and special angles of view.