Artist Headshot: Joakim Boren

Joakim Borén

Norfolk, UK

Born in Stockholm in 1982, Joakim Borén is a Swedish photographer based in the UK. After studying BA(Hons) Photography at the Bournemouth Arts Institute and Design Photography at Exeter Faculty of Arts, University of Plymouth, he now focuses on advertising, travel and architectural work for agencies and magazines around the globe. With a working aesthetic defined by strong composition and graphic minimalism, he enjoys constructing images just as well as finding beauty in unrelated locations and urban spaces.

Clients include Barclaycard, Thomas Cook, RHS, Urban Splash and award winning architect firms such as David Sheppard, Gillespie & Yunnie and Hudson Architects. His work has been published in books by BIS Publishers, East Publishing and Laurence King amongst others, and magazines such as Architectural Review and Dwell. Awards include Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward, PDN Photography Annual and Prix De La Photographie, and the Renaissance Photography Prize 2012.

With studios in London and Norwich Joakim lives in Norfolk with his family, including an English Springer Spaniel, a Mecklenburger grey and an Oldenburger bay.


The series Monoliths explores monumental architecture of the 20th century and ask visual questions about contemporary architecture’s relationship to society and the continuous quandary of social housing.

Modernism’s basic principles and the succeeding Brutalist architecture afterwards, were based on a “truth to materials” and an "anti-aesthetic" approach that changed contemporary architecture and culture forever. Tower blocks were built all over the United Kingdom during the mid-20th century as economically depressed (and World War II ravaged) communities sought inexpensive construction and design methods for low-cost housing. These towers were offering "a new model for living" with houses for the masses and "comfortable streets in the sky". It was one of the most controversial housing schemes in UK history and has come to symbolize the failure of a utopian dream.

Architecture and photography blend together in this series to create a distinct liaison between the large format camera’s attention to detail and use of artificial lighting to enhance the internal structures of this geometric and simple architecture. At night, the photographs ability to capture light reveals a view the human eye cannot register, and forms an ethereal ambiguity where grey concrete structures in depopulated spaces become even more apparent as the monolithic structures that they are.


2009 Most Innovative Newcomer, Media Innovation Awards.
2006 winner of Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward Photography Competition
2003 Cultural Award for Achievements in Photographic Studies, Danderyd, Sweden

Selected Exhibitions

Group Show, FAB, Fringe Visual Arts Festival, Bath, UK.

Non Places, joint exhibition, Soul Life, Barbican Plymouth, UK.

Group Exhibition fortyfour.10, Gallery Republic, Exeter, UK.


BA (Hons) Design Photography, Plymouth University, UK
BA (Hons) Photography, The Arts Institute, Bournemouth, UK

Selected Clients and Collections

David Sheppard Architects
Coda Architects
LHC Architects
Grainge Architects
VING Sweden
SPIES Denmark

Please note: this is an abbreviated C.V. Please visit the artist's website for further information.

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