12.16.19 / Sweden

With ‘Greetings From Sweden,’ Ruvan Wijesooriya Finds a Place of Serenity in Our Trying Times

A dreamy haze of what life was like in at least one place in the world

The decade is coming to a close, and it’s never been more stressful. At least that’s what it feels like, when we’re constantly inundated with stories and ideas that make us feel on edge. Our art reflects that, but it also begs the question, what are we going to remember about this time? For photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya there’s at least one place that offered a different view of the world: Sweden. Over the course of 15 years, Wijesooriya captured the moments and memories that offered a vision of what the world could be, compiled in the new photo book ‘Greetings From Sweden.’ Wijesooriya considered how sometimes our documentation and our art forget to capture the beauty that exists in this world, beauty he found in even the most mundane aspects of Sweden. The stillness of nature, the joyousness of family life, even the inhibition of nightlife. None of those things are exclusive to Sweden, but felt accessible, and even encouraged by the social framework of the country—making him pointedly aware of the lack of such a framework elsewhere. Wijesooriya himself had documented challenging and complex places like Afghanistan in the past, but something about Sweden resonated with him. It’s lack of relentless political strife, or gender inequality, or overt religiosity, all were notable at a time when those issues swallow up our attention anywhere else. The era we live in is marked by those conflicts, certainly, but it also includes places that have…sort of figured it out—at least through a lens that sees the dreamy, serene, freeing side of Sweden.

Signed copies of ‘Greetings from Sweden’ are available as a special edition at Maison Kitsuné with a custom dust cover. 

[Cherry Blossoms]

[Dark Sea]

[Three Girls Waiting]

[Dalarna Tree and Sky]

[Cosmic Snowscape]

[Wild Rose] 

[Dalarna Lake (Beige)]

[Passing Trees]

[Flowerbed]

[Glisten]

[Blue Water Dots]

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