Ola Kolehmainen

Born 1964  |  Lives and works in Berlin


Ola Kolehmainen’s newest project is a journey to historical sacred spaces through the confluence of photography and architecture. Inspiration for the series began in 2013, when Kolehmainen due to a commission started documenting Islamic architecture and mosques. This further motivated to photograph Christian and Jewish architecture, exploring synagogues, churches as well as cathedrals. Kolehmainen has captured the particularity and the grandiosity of these religious buildings.


Holy buildings and the meaning of light in the architecture are in the center in Kolehmainen’s works. The photographic entities are compilations of several photos, giving justice to the details, colors, and the history of the architecture. At the same time, the majestic essence of the architectural magnitude is preserved and emphasized. Through framing and re-framing, the artist invites the viewer to approach these sacred places multiple times, focusing on different notion of space and light at every frame and level.


Ola Kolehmainen is one of Finland’s most known photographers with over 47 solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Kolehmainen graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinki in 1999, and he has been one of the most prominent artists from the renowned Helsinki School. Kolehmainen, who works in Berlin, was made an honorary member of the Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA in 2015.