Artists & Artworks
The Association of Finnish Sculptors will launch a truly unique exhibition event in Helsinki in summer 2019. Sculpture Expanded – Moving Laboratory of Public Art is a major public art project during which the urban space will become a laboratory for movable works of art.
An international jury selected 10 artists to produce a work for the Moving Laboratory: artist couple Andy Best and Merja Puustinen, artist groups Forest Camp and Pagan, and artists Anna-Kaisa Ant-Wuorinen, Timo Heino, Shoji Kato, Le Hien Minh (Vietnam), Riikka Puronen, Pia Sirén and Denise Ziegler.
The works were chosen by the jury Klas Fontell (HAM, Helsinki Art Museum), curator Marie Nipper (Copenhagen Contemporary) and artist Lauri Astala (Association of Finnish Sculptors). The open call resulted in 40 applications from abroad and the rest were submitted by artists and groups of artists working in Finland.
The project has been awarded a Taide2 grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Andy Best ja Merja Puustinen – Strange Fruit
Andy Best & Merja Puustinen are visual and media artists, specialising in playful and provocative interactions in physical spaces such as galleries and museums, as well as in the urban space. Their work is powerful, provocative and often tackles social and political themes in playful, physical ways. They use many different materials, techniques and technologies to realise their ideas.
Andy Best is lecturer in sculpture and Head of the Center for General Studies at Aalto University. Merja Puustinen is Executive Director of the Union of Finnish Art Associations, as well as a PhD researcher at the University of the Arts, Helsinki.
Strange Fruit consists of four independent inflatable sculptures designed for installation on buildings and other structures within the city landscape. The forms of the sculptures draw inspiration from plants exposed to high levels of radiation after the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, as well as other genetic mutations. The sculptures draw attention to the changes caused to the environment by anthropocentric activities such as mining, deforestation, pollution, and human population growth.
The name Strange Fruit references the song sung by Billy Holiday with the lyrics “Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees”, about black men lynched in the Deep South of the USA. The radical social and political changes currently occurring in our own societies are a symptom of a similar fragmented cultural landscape. The Strange Fruit sculptures are beautiful yet ominous heralds of a possible future.
Artist group Forest Camp was formed in 1998 in Punkaharju, Finland. Artistic strength of Forest Camp is the free juggling of ideas which draws from connections between mundane life and art. The group’s production consists of interventions, site-specific installations together with artworks and events that probe the essence of art. Forest Camp is known specifically for the Kakutus interventions that have taken place in Mohni island, Jurmala, Punkaharju, Madrid, Acciarole, New York and Cheng Chau island.
Forest Camp’s strategy is anonymous collectivism which is partly based on improvisation.
Pagan – Chrystalis
Pagan is an interdisciplinary art group with almost 60 years of experience combined in film, design and games development. Their experiments in interactive media where nature and technology come together represent a new kind of public installation art.
Pagan focuses on the demystification of technology and emphasizes the possibilities of play in a world connected by technology.
Ancient Augmented-Reality installation
Chrysalis is a site-specific augmented-reality installation which reveals a huge primitive organism recently discovered under the city of Helsinki. Collectable golden miniatures will appear in the proximity of the buildings where the Chrysalis can be seen using a mobile phone or tablet screens.
Anna-Kaisa Ant-Wuorinen – Autokulta
Anna-Kaisa Ant-Wuorinen (b 1957) is a sculptor from Somero, West-Finland. Ant-Wuorinen takes photographs and makes video art. She uses industrially produced everyday items as material for her sculptures and environmental art.
For Sculpture Expanded project Anna-Kaisa Ant-Wuorinen will mold a car into an artwork.
Timo Heino – Sokea lauma
Sculptor Timo Heino (b. 1962) lives and works in Helsinki, Finland. A central theme in his art is investigating the material world. His focus is on the history, identity and circulation of matter, and on the ways the symbolic meaning and people’s relationship to various substances have changed in different eras. In addition to the metaphoric and artistic dimensions, the concept of matter is important to him through its social and political meanings. Heino graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, in 1989. He received his doctoral degree in fine arts in 2016.
The Blind Herd
The Blind Herd is a group of sculptures, which due to its temporary nature, forms an antithesis to the ideal of a permanent, heavy statue that stands still. The sculpture project is based on an image of a mystical parade that has suddenly appeared on urban surroundings; the blind herd of deceased animals haunting the cityscape. It is a combination of transient installation art, sculpture performance, urban happening, demonstration, carnival parade, block party, and artistic construction site.
Shoji Kato’s art explores how humans make and sustain spaces. In his artistic research thesis, Place of Geometry (2015), Kato analysed the correlation between visions, concepts, actions, materials, technology and temporality using geometric models. His works have been exhibited internationally and deposited in many private collections.
Shoji Kato was born in Japan, has lived in Japan and the U.S. and currently lives and works in Helsinki. He studied at the State University of New York – Purchase College, the Academy of Fine Arts (Amsterdam) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki.
Adrenaline + Granite
Niche and Contact and Expansion
A social and sculpture-like project takes place only a limited number of times during the summer of 2019.
Le Hien Minh
Le Hien Minh (b. 1979, Hanoi, Vietnam) processual practice examines notions of change, senses, memories and materiality. Hien Minh often works with traditional Vietnamese paper called ‘Do’, with which she constructs large scale installations. In Hien Minh’s work ’Do’ paper acts as a bridge between contemporary and traditional Vietnamese art and also between modern and historical Vietnamese culture.
Le Hien Minh studied traditional Lacquer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Art and acquired a degree in Fine Art from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, USA. Her works have been exhibited in major museums and galleries in Vietnam as well as in Korea, Taiwan, and the USA since 2003. She currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.
In Helsinki, Hien Minh will create a public installation based on feminine iconography found in the Vietnamese folk tradition.
Riikka Puronen – Eau de Sculpture
The core ideas of sculpting are thinking, physicality and sensuality that a sculpture can mediate to the viewer. Materials and scale of sculptures vary depending on the idea and the work at hand. The materials also gain new meanings. Bronze for example, has more recently become a recyclable material as well as being a traditional and valuable material for sculpting.
Eau de Sculpture
In her work Eau de Sculpture Puronen invites the viewer to sculpt with the power of thought. The artwork combines 3D-printed forms with steel, bronze and immaterial elements such as stories and memories. The sculpture is realized together with the participants.
”Everyone is an Artist” (Joseph Beuys).
Pia Sirén – Public Constructions
Pia Sirén (b. 1982) is an artist who specializes in large scale installations made of construction materials. In her works, scaffolding and tarpaulins form nature and landscapes; mountains, vegetation and forests. The works create artificial nature and temporary do-it-yourself landscapes. Sirén is interested in the physical and mental constructions surrounding landscapes, creating immersive spatial experiences, and the creative misuse of materials.
Sirén’s recent solo exhibitions include Forum Box gallery (2018), Muu Kaapeli gallery (2016), Vess Gallery in Copenhagen (2015) and her works have been exhibited in several group exhibitions including AroS Triennal in Aarhus, Uppsala Art Museum, Varbergs Konsthall, MACRO Testaccio Museum in Rome, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Mänttä Art Festival and Wäinö Aaltonen Museum.
Sirén was awarded the young artist prize by Maecenas Guild in 2013. Sirén has graduated from Tampere Polytechnic University, Fine Arts department in 2008 and as a Master of Fine arts from Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2012.
Public Constructions (working title)
Building sites for constructing nature will appear in urban Helsinki. Public Constructions is a series of site specific installations or spatial gestures where its materials; scaffolding, tarpaulins, plywood and attention fences will communicate the notion of change and movement. The works create temporary fragments of forests, artificial vegetations and illusions of ephemeral landscapes.
Denise Ziegler – Pearls for Swine
Denise Ziegler an artist and a researcher of public space born in Switzerland. She has graduated as master of Arts from Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki in 1997 and made her doctoral dissertation in 2010. In her postdoctoral research in Aalto University Levels of Elevation – the Sublime Experience as a Method to Address Public Space, Ziegler developed a new method for understanding urban space through experimental interventions.
Ziegler works with sculpture, painting, installation, video and drawing. She also produces script-pictorial works. The artworks bear signs of gestures, human involvement, something that has taken place. She reconstructs situations which refer to human agency and everyday objects like houseplants and garden fences. She brings them into a new context which often gives them contradictory, ironic and poetic, sometimes also comic and tautological, features.
Pearls before Swine
For Sculptor Expanded project Ziegler creates a piece called Pearls before Swine. The artwork is both kinetic and climatic in nature.