I haven’t been to enough art shows this past winter but I did manage to visit Kiasma, the museum of contemporary art in Helsinki, for the ARS17 exhibition, which centered around the art of the digital age and was titled “Hello World!” (referencing the phrase often used to check code). ARS is a huge exhibition that shows contemporary art from all around the world and is organized about every five years or so.
I really loved the pieces by Swedish artist Anna Uddenberg: she made sculptures with female figures balancing on suitcases. They look like they are doing rodeo. The sculptures are supposed to be provocative ideas of what the current It Girl would look like. Included in ARS17 there were three “rodeo” pieces and Swirl Lounge, reminiscent of airport waiting areas (pictured above, right).
Canadian Jon Rafman had two animal-themed sculptures in the show. A piece with a deer trying to swallow a gorilla is pictured above, on the left. The other piece was also a herbivore trying to eat a carnivore.
A Spanish artist Julia Varela was responsible for the black broken screens (pictured above, bottom left). The smashed pieces of electronics seem to ask whether this is all that will be left of us in a short while?
A Russian artist Andrey Bogush had blown up a photos of the human body into one huge picture that looked like a massive curtain.
Charles Richardson‘s piece Headbone (pictured above, bottom right) consisted of a flowery couch and videos of 3D characters reflected on the wall in front of the couch. There was something strangely meditative about the whole experience. The installation was in a small darkened room in the museum so it felt like its own little world.
American Yung Jake had made several smaller pieces about pop culture (example above, on the left), which made me think of my own childhood.
All in all, ARS17 was a great exhibition and I can’t wait to see this year’s ARS.
Kiasma, a contemporary art museum in the center of Helsinki, had one of its open days a few weeks ago. I decided to pop by to see the current exhibitions after work.
Above you can see one of my favorite pieces from the various exhibitions at Kiasma. Petri Ala-Maunus‘s piece Hinterland is just so vibrant and intricate. Just looking at it makes me feel like I’m being swallowed up by a wave of taken to the skies by the blowing wind. Absolutely gorgeous!
Above on the right there are two very fascinating installations from a British artist Mona Hatoum. She was born in Beirut to Palestinian parents and her work deals with the conflict and contradictions in the world that surrounds us. Apparently this is her first solo exhibition in Finland and so it presented a huge range of works all the way from the late 70s. Hatoum’s pieces include videos, photography, installations, sculptures, and more. I loved the installations, which somehow felt very threatening even thought most of the items were perfectly ordinary. Definitely worth visiting if you have the chance!
On the top left, you can see a piece from Meeri Koutaniemi‘s installation for After the Turmoil exhibition (by Meeri Koutaniemi and Arman Alizad). The exhibition as a whole is about survival and particularly. The exhibition featured photos of girls who had gone through female circumcision. Though disturbing, the topic is an important one and I’m so glad I saw the collection.
On the bottom right, there is a nice counter-balance to the dark and oppressive pieces I saw. Kaarina Haka‘s installation is all about colorful fabrics and stuffed animals. I also loved how the piece was in front of a window where light could hit it. I made me think of Japan and candy and all things happy and colorful.
All in all, I’d say that the exhibitions currently in Kiasma are of great variety. There’s a bit of everything but nothing feels out of place. Big installations are everywhere, which I love. I like being able to walk around the pieces, maybe even through them, and seeing them from every angle.
When is the last time you went to see art?
Last week I decided to visit the Helsinki Art Museum – or HAM – (located in Kamppi, in the center of Helsinki), which offers free admission every first Friday of every month. I often take advantage of these kinds of free days at art museums because my budget doesn’t allow me to spend a lot of money on art shows. Free admission days, then, are the perfect chance to switch gears and move from school and work mode to culture mode.
HAM has several exhibitions on at the moment: Tove Jansson exhibition (which is featured on Her Campus at Helsinki right now), HAM’s Roots (featuring various paintings from Finnish artists), From Heino with Love, and more. The exhibits vary greatly in size but they are all fascinating.
I felt that the most interesting exhibit was From Heino with Love, which includes numerous pieces of contemporary art from The Heino Art Foundation. The foundation is run by a couple and their son, who have collected over a thousand pieces of art. The exhibit itself consists of 100 pieces that include paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculptures.
I loved the use of color in most of these works; the boldness of the works made a huge impact on the viewer. Most of the paintings were very bright and – I thought – very street art inspired. Some of my favorite pieces were the green and white sculptures that reminded me of some strange fantasy anime.
Helsinki Art Museum has become one of my favorite museums during my university years because they show a lot of contemporary art and often have very interesting and topical themes. I will, however, make it my mission for the summer to start visiting other museums, too.
Have you been to any art shows lately? What kind of art do you like? (I prefer contemporary)
If you know me at all, you know I’m all about budget budget budget. As a student, I can’t afford to spend lots of money on everything I want to do. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to experience things! With this in mind, I recently took advantage of a free day in the Helsinki Art Museum in order to see Ai Weiwei‘s exhibition. Every last Friday of the month, the museum has free entrance to everyone. A lot of museums have similar policies, and I like to take advantage of those days because the admission price is often around 10 euros even for students.
The exhibition I went to see was “Ai Weiwei @ Helsinki“, which includes 27 pieces from the world-famous activist/artist. The exhibition opened earlier this year and I had been wanting to see it for a long time.
All of Ai Weiwei’s works are inspired by his activism and by political issues, especially the ones related to China. The pieces tend to be massive sculptures and installations, that radiate power and mystery. Some of them merely make you pause by their strangeness and some make you feel peaceful or overwhelmed.
This is Ai Weiwei’s first solo exhibition in Helsinki so I was especially eager to see his works in real life (rather than on blogs or social media). The sheer size of the art was enough to make you gasp. And reading the background for the different pieces gave insight to the political and social situation in China and how the artist had been affected by the various events.
If you have a chance to see any of Ai Weiwei’s art anywhere, I heartily recommend it! It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything as impressive. The different works blend and mix traditional and modern, making a fascinating combination that should intrigue any art lover.
Here are some photos I took when out on a summer walk in a nearby forest with a friend of mine. I love that in Finland nature is all around you; there’s no need to go far to look for it.
Recently I went on (yet another) cruise to Tallinn. It was a bit of a miracle, because we had the perfect summer weather there even though autumn had already arrived. It was so unbelievable warm that we were walking around in T-shirts. I went with m boyfriend and a big bunch of our friends. The start for the trip was a bit grueling since we had gone to sleep around 2 am (some of us even later) and we had to vacate the cabin at 6:45 am. Scary.
The beginning of the day flew by while we walked around the gorgeous Old Town and visited a few churches there. We also rested our feet at a lovely little cafe.
In the Old Town, there are two lookout points that give you a wonderful view of Tallinn. We walked to both of them before heading to the Tallinn Zoo.
Beauty in the Old Town
The zoo was great, especially because the weather was so wonderful for walking around. The animals were adorable as well – although we were disappointed at not seeing elephants there.
None of us really did much shopping (apparently guys don’t go there to shop – shocker!) but we did have a great day just seeing everything Tallinn has to offer. Most of us had been there several times before so we didn’t feel the need to rush around and try to see everything. We took our time and just enjoyed the time we had. Also, I love traveling but if I have a schedule with every minute allotted, I don’t enjoy it as much. As the last pit stop, I guided the guys to the Medieval restaurant in the town square (in Old Town), which I had been to during my previous trip. Everyone loved the pastries and the elk soup there. All in all, the whole trip was a huge success.
So, a while back me and my boyfriend and a couple of my friends went to a student event at one of the islands on the coast of Helsinki: Suomenlinna. It’s such a lovely place to spend a day and we knew autumn weathers would really come down hard soon enough, so we took advantage and tagged along with a bunch of other students. I was more focus on photography instead of partying but the others didn’t seem to mind :P
With some good picnic lunches and a healthy dose of energy we had a wonderful afternoon/evening at the island. It was drizzling a bit but that didn’t matter. I was busy snapping shots with my camera and before we knew it, the sun was coming down. This was one of those perfect days: good food, good friends, some nature photography and no class. More of those, please!
After a slightly scary weekend of server problems I now have the second part of my art and design fair adventure for you guys! This post includes my favorites from the fair (well, there many more but these I wanted to include here). I hope to go next year and check them out again (maybe with a bigger budget this time).
Aada sisustus (Aada design) had really beautiful pieces, very Hamptons and preppy nautical. Also, a lot of romantic furniture and art. I liked the lightness of their pieces but as a cat owner and as a student who has parties at her house quite often, I’d probably be scared to have e.g. a white couch. But maybe some day :)
The Destiny Store was probably my favorite even though it wasn’t really in my budget to buy anything from their table at the fair. The artwork they sell is somehow raw but beautiful and I just kept thinking of Edgar Allan Poe when I saw it. I could also see some Native American influence in the art prints. In addition to art prints they sold, for example, feathers, glass decorations and little pouches and bags.
It was really inspiring to see several student works at the fair: I hope to some day do something just as beautiful as the pieces shown at the fair, I can’t believe all that talent in people who are my age! It’s so inspiring. Here you can check out more about the University of Lapland’s work and here is the blog for their installation.
And what design or art did I end up purchasing?
In the end, I didn’t buy much: I got a little deer print and a temporary tattoo with the same image. I also got a cute little mug from Keramiikkastudio Envalds’s (ceramics studio Envalds) stand. The mug is so pretty and lovely now during the fall.
I’m so behind on my blog posts because I’ve been sick but I’ll try and empty my drafts folder this week and show you all the cool stuff I’ve been working on!
A few weeks ago I got went to the local art and design fair ArtHelsinki 2014 plus some other fairs (they all are organized at the same time in the same building), and I have to say, they were all amazing! I loved seeing all the contemporary art they had on display and I wish I could’ve bought some pieces for our apartment. Nonetheless, it was nice to just take a day off from routines and go and see so many new things!
Even though the event is annual, I have never been there – but I’ll definitely consider going again next year because I got so much home decor inspiration as well as inspiration for creative projects. I have to admit that the light fair I neglected a little bit because my interests were in the art and the design but the light installations I saw were amazing as well!
These paintings were some of my favorites: I just love watercolors! You can actually buy these paintings online here!
More pictures to come in part 2!!
I was SO meant to post this last week but somehow time just flew by and I forgot. But here it is: very simple recap of Flow Festival! It’s a great summer festival that often features both mainstream and underground artists – in fact, I go there pretty much every summer.
One of the best things about Flow is that you can hop on the metro near my house and take it to the festival area in 20 minutes…no need to sleep in a crummy tent!
I hope I can continue to go every summer – so far I have not been disappointed. And the price range is great: usually for 80 euros you can see 3-4 great artists (plus some you didn’t even know you wanted to see!).