“I remember the first time I met Toivo, he was walking frantically, taking big strides, his neck perched out and his hair in a huge mess. I knew I had to photograph this man, he has so much of a character that one could hardly miss. It was outside the Central Railway Station where I met him. I had approached him and said " Hi", while he responded immediately by shoving his hand into my face, signaling his disinterest to have a conversation with me. Intuitively, I stalked him to a nearby shopping mall. After half an hour, he was done with his shopping and I went up to him again. We managed to have a conversation and he was flattered by my interest of wanting to photograph him. We soon began to meet every couple of weeks. It was a privilege to be able to document his life, however, unexpectedly to its end.
This installation is dedicated to my friend, Toivo Laukkanen whom I have learnt much from.”
Physical Realities of Death deals with the themes of the values of living, the masculinity role and death. These fundamental issues are intriguing but often not easy to bring into conversations. Through careful academic research and interviews with patients and healthcare workers, a collection of stories and information is being retold through the character - Toivo Laukkanen, played by Mr. Tapanai Muranen street-cast by the artist.