Tag Archives: culture

A Look at ARS17 Art Exhibition at Kiasma

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.

kiasma art ars17 1

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?

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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.

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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: Contemporary Art in October

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.

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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!

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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!

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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?

Our Shared Shelf: First 4 Books

Our Shared Shelf, the feminist book club Emma Watson founded on Goodreads, is now well established and has a huge following as well as some very fascinating discussions on various aspects of womanhood. I was very eager to try and read all the books chosen for the club because I wanted to expand my horizons and discover books outside of my YA/fantasy-filled comfort zone.

our shared shelf 1

January: My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

Our Shared Shelf started with Steinem’s My Life on the Road, which right away generated a mixed bag of opinions: some readers appreciated Steinem’s strong point of view while others thought her writing as abrasive and inconsiderate. My Life on the Road is Steinem’s memoir that collects stories and anecdotes from her travels, while discussing important figures such as Martin Luther King and Hillary Clinton. She is also very focused on activism and talks about many of her fellow activists. While her writing can be somewhat disorganized, the overall tone of the book will quickly engage the reader.

February: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I haven’t been so affected by a book in a long while like I was by The Color Purple. Walker’s novel has often been censured due to its themes of sexuality and violence. This of course tends to be the case with books that are in the position to make a real change in the prejudices of our society. The novel is structured as a diary (and later, letters) that is being written by a young African-American woman, Celie, in the 1930s. Celie shows true growth and strength of character as she learns to deal with racism, sexual assault, and an unhappy family life.

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March: All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks

Another book that divided opinions was All About Love: New Visions. bell hooks is widely regarded as a great thinker and feminist, which is why it was surprising that this particular work of hers was in fact slightly off-putting with its frequent, long-winded thoughts about religion. Furthermore, the book struck me as perhaps even too theoretical when talking about love and how one should find it and how it relates to e.g. abuse. However, it was still an interesting read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in theoretical discussions, existentialism, religion, or philosophy. And, of course, feminism!

April: How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

How to Be a Woman is a hilarious, strange, and quirky piece of writing that might rub you the wrong way – or it might crack you up like no other! While I had trouble understanding some references (international reader here, hello), more often than not I found myself snorting with laughter while I read. Moran has strong opinions about all the different things women are “supposed to” be like and she is utterly unapologetic about it. She is a great example of a woman who has found her path in life and at least appears to be totally comfortable in her skin.
Our Shared Shelf is reading along quickly and the May book has been plowed through as well. I will post a review of The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson and the newly announced June book (graphic novel) is Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (and a few more additions hopefully) at the end of the summer.

Ai Weiwei @ Helsinki Exhibition

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.

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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.

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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.

Link Round-Up: November -15

Link round-up

Time for another link round-up: here are my November favorites. This time I gathered quite a few of the articles I’ve written during this fall for online magazines as well as a few pieces from last Spring.

btsb link round-up

Better Than Sliced Bread:

Travel articles: IstanbulIndonesiafandom hunting in London, and photo article on Scotland

Gaming tips

Advice for new freshmen

Article on fitness

Is Outlander as the feminist answer to Game of Thrones or just smut fluff?

Blogging as an Industry of Sharing

Talk about book trailers

HC Helsinki link round-up

Her Campus Helsinki:

Helsinki Book Fair 2015

Night of the Arts

Travel pieces: Espoo and Galway

Cat cafe trip

An interview with the founders of HC Helsinki (one of them being me!)

 

Additional Articles and Links

My article about budget travel in Tallinn on Pink Pangea

Cute outfits inspired by Man Up film on Sara’s blog

Real talk about STDs from a friend of mine

How to plan ahead

Helsinki Book Fair 2015: Books and Food!

I recently went to the Helsinki Book Fair, where I was performing in a panel discussion with my editor-in-chief from the literature magazine I work for, Lukufiilis. The magazine is transitioning from print to online, so we were there to discuss the changes ahead.

I absolutely love the book fair: I go every year and it’s there that I allow myself to go bonkers with my book shopping. There is also usually the Wine, Food and Good Living fair, where you can go get free food samples in between your book browsing.

book fair

I ended up buying a few comics I’ve heard really good things about: Saga Volume 1 and Rat Queens Volume 1. Now that I have read both, I can say that I LOVE THEM! The art in both is pretty and realistic-looking, and I’m a fan of anything fantasy-related. Plus, Rat Queens was hilarious and I loved having strong female leads. And Saga was intriguing and exciting. I recommend both of them!

book fair haul

I love stopping by at the food fair also, because they have great selection of food items you wouldn’t normally buy. I often get Christmas presents for relatives from there and maybe some treats for myself, too. This year I had some delicious bruschetta from the Italian food stand.

Later on you can also find a more in-depth article about the book fair on Her Campus University of Helsinki!

Do you go to book fairs?

Wooden Wisdom: Elijah Wood as a DJ

elijah wood compilation

I was recently lucky enough to attend Elijah Wood’s DJ gig at a local club here in Helsinki (Club Kaiku). The tickets were on sale last Spring and I knew I’d want to go. How many chances in life do you have to see Frodo DJ? ;) He is part of a DJ duo called Wooden Wisdom with Zach Cowen and according to the event info their sound is “paradise garage”. They played their own collection of old vinyls so the music was a fun mix of 70s and 80s beats. It was a delightfully eclectic bunch of songs and really got our dance feet going. I attended the gig with a friend and we both had a blast from the queue all the way to the gig’s end.

elijah wood

Sometimes we’re lucky even here in Finland to get major stars and it was a bit of a childhood dream of mine to see Elijah Wood in person so this was the perfect end for my summer (the gig was on my last day of vacation before this semester started). I love going dancing and this definitely made it so much more special. And even the price was an affordable 20 euros. If anyone has a chance to go see them play, I thoroughly recommend it!

London: Long Weekend Vacation

I was lucky enough to get a trip to London just a little while ago when my mom wanted to celebrate her birthday there. It was my third time there and I still love the city as much as ever!

london 1

We had already seen most of the traditional sights so we decided to have a pretty chill vacation. We did, however, visit the Westminster Abbey for the first time so that we got to see the inside of the church. Tip: you can go for an evening service, which lasts for an hour, and you won’t have to pay the admittance fee (which I feel is quite pricey).

We went to Bella Italia for my mom’s birthday dinner and we had the chicken stew, which was absolutely delicious! I can’t even express how good that meal was!

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We also just walked around a lot – mainly around Oxford Street where our hotel was and along the river Thames. The weather was extremely sunny and mild so it was nice just to walk around and check out sights like the London Eye and Big Ben.

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British Museum was a must-see on our list: I had been there before but you could spend a week in the museum and there would still be more to see. Tip: GO THERE – IT’S FREE! Enough said.

One of the splurges we made was the visit to Kensington Palace, which is right now having a fashion exhibition, which personally I found the most fascinating. The outfits were breathtaking.

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We also checked out The Who Shop (a Doctor Who store and museum) as well as the Harry Potter shop at Kings Cross, but I’ll tell you more about those in my London haul post :)

Art & Design at ArtHelsinki14 and Habitare pt 1

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!

Habitare

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!

Jukka-Rintala design art

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!!

Pride Parade 2014

pride

We had Helsinki Pride 2014 last weekend and – I think this was a real miracle considering the horrible storms and rain we’ve been having – it was actually really sunny and warm during the day of the parade and park event. I’ve gone to Pride for several years now with my friends and we had agreed on a picnic date this year as well. It was such a blast seeing everyone and eating picnic lunch while listening to all the great music that was played. Especially considering that we were showing support for a cause that is very dear to our hearts.

pride parade

Pride week always shows up all over town and this year the Hard Rock Cafe celebrated by serving specially designed drinks like Melon Dreams (left) and Rainbow Power (right). In the evening there were several Pride parties but me and my friend ended up going to the official main party at Le Bonk, a nice club in the center of Helsinki, which has a really lovely roof terrace. The entertainment for the evening, in addition to the awesome DJ Miia Magia, was a pole dancing performance by a local pole dancing school Rock the Pole.

The entire day was filled with so much positivity and love that I wanted to share it with all of you! So hugs, equality, and love for you all!! <3