Tapio Sinisalo, Haava / Wound, 2023, mirror, steel, wood, basketball, acrylic, tape, bronze. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.

Tapio Sinisalo Own voice


My exhibition looks at shame, shamelessness and discovering one’s own self. As a result of strong events and emotions I experienced in my early childhood, I lost my voice and could barely speak through a whisper. Over time, my voice recovered, but I was left with a life-long scar, which, in social situations, manifests itself as tension and a sense of being an outsider – a feeling of shame.

Shame is traumatizing: the feeling of shame causes a wound and the infection spreads to everything. Shame makes you feel unworthy, because in order to please others and to be accepted, you give up your own self. Hiding the feeling of shame exhausts and isolates and prevents one from thinking clearly about future. Shame about one’s own body and existence also creates a favorable ground for mental health problems.

Shamelessness is often accepted, even desired, in today’s society. When we admire shamelessness, the shame that we feel we produce through our lifestyle, becomes embedded in it. A frightening example is the rapidly escalating climate change and the resultant refugee flows.

Shame and shamelessness reside deep within us. We can close our eyes from both feelings and look at things as we prefer to. But problems do not disappear until we are ready to face them. By examining our emotions and behavior, we can find our own voice – our own self, which, like a plough, opens new pathways. In doing so, we can start to act on what is happening to us and our environment. The responsibility for the present day and the future is shared.

-Tapio Sinisalo

The exhibition has been supported by the City of Kotka and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Sculptor Tapio Sinisalo (b. 1953) has studied at the Eesti Riiklik Kunstiinsituut in Tallinn between 1981–83. Based in Kotka, the artist has participated in group exhibitions since 1976 and held solo exhibitions since 1980. Sinisalo’s works have been exhibited in Finland, Germany, Spain, Russia, and Estonia. His works are in the collections of the City of Kouvola, South Karelia and Imatra Art Museums, the City of Kotka, and the City of Tallinn. Sinisalo is a member of the Association of Finnish Sculptors and Kotka Artists’ Association.

Tapio Sinisalo, Haava / Wound, 2023, mirror, steel, wood, basketball, acrylic, tape, bronze. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
At the front: Tapio Sinisalo's work Valjastettu voittamaan / Harnessed to Win (2006/2023), wood, steel, cloth, bronze, leather. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.
Tapio Sinisalo, Own voice, 2023, steel, acrylic, bronze. Photo: Aukusti Heinonen.

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