The series ‘Kynö’ presents documentary photos in symbiosis with fine art, which results in material that emphasises everything inherent to the island of Kihnu – patterns and beautiful colours as the result of human activity, on one hand, and pristine nature on the other.

Kihnu (formerly called Kynö), the largest island in the Gulf of Riga, is on the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The documentary exhibition project studies the role of calico clothes in everyday attire, which has never been recorded like this before. The landscapes that have been added to the portraits make it possible to view two essential facets of Kihnu life at the same time: its people (the torchbearers of tradition) and its nature (the living environment in which traditions are placed, as well as people’s livelihood). Juxtaposition with the island’s nature creates a visual story, a combination whose parts support one another but also emphasise polarity, where calico fabrics appear as the chorus.

All of the portraits were taken outdoors in natural light, using medium-format film camera and 120mm film.

The exhibition Kynö/Kihnu about Kihnu island's community has been on display at the following venues:

2019  European Art Centre, Bialystok, Poland 

2018 Rathausgalerie, Greifswald, Germany

2017 Kihnu museum, Kihnu island, Estonia


Information about artist:

Birgit Püve (born 7 November 1978) is an Estonian photographer and photo artist. A former journalist and editor, Püve concentrates on landscapes, but also portrait photography and the presentation of human nature, focusing on memory and identity. Birgit Püve's work has been shown in exhibitions in Estonia, Latvia, Russia, France, UK, United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Poland, winning several reputable awards.

December 2, 2021

Venture Café Warsaw Foundation Partners