Finnish design is known worldwide for its high quality and distinct forms. This includes simple, natural hues and clear, linear accents – but boldness, creativity and a lively use of colour characterize Finnish design language as well. Also typical of Finnish design is the development of practical solutions for – in the broadest sense – societal issues.
Wild at Heart is a colourful exhibition complex which gives the viewer insight into the exciting world of Finnish design today. The title of the exhibition refers to a perhaps lesser-known side of the Finnish soul: that underneath a shy, reserved surface pulses wild humour, exuberance and passion.
“In the exhibition, I would especially like to emphasise the endless dimensions of design. I feel like we are living in an age of a design renaissance, in which people can move around more freely between different creative fields“, says exhibition curator Tero Kuitunen.
The eleven designers in Wild at Heart deftly move at the intersection of art and design. They work boldly with new materials and don’t hesitate to try new things. The exhibition unit Raw Beauty is characterized by a material-based approach and a clear visual language. Antrei Hartikainen, representing traditional carpentry, transforms raw wood into delicate, airy sculptures using a variety of techniques. Photographer and artist Sofia Okkonen engages with femininity in her own strong visuality, while Tero Kuitunen addresses the meaning of touch and touching in ceramics. In the visual world of Klaus Haapaniemi, motifs from Finnish folk tales can be recognized; he illustrates both ceramics and textiles.
In the exhibition unit Social Impact, design is viewed as a societal factor. Milla Vaahtera breathes new life into the tradition of glass blowing, while Tuuli-Tytti Koivula’s fashion collection addresses the problems of plastic waste and repurposing materials. The company Mifuko was founded to employ female artisans from Kenya. Through a flexible and secure employment relationship, the women are given an independent income and greater influence on society.
Playfulness and humour appear again and again as central themes of the exhibition; however, they are particularly noticeable in the unit Wild Humour. The works of Eero Aarnio, one of the most important Finnish designers, are characterized by originality and courage over many years. Teemu Salonen moves between sculpture and design and utilizes pop art elements in his exuberant, colourful style. Aamu Song and Johan Olin from COMPANY refer to masters of handicrafts from around the world in their artistic work, reflecting both a strong appreciation for the tradition of craft and the pure joy of creation.
Tue 8.9. | 18–20 Discussion The Role of Women in Photography. With speakers Sofia Okkonen and Annamari Vänskä [in Finnish]. Location: Kamera-Room of the Finnish Museum of Photography, in the Kämp Galleria. Exhibition viewing afterwards. Tickets 12/6/0 €.
This event is part of the Helsinki Design Week programme: a Nordic design festival held from 3–13.9.2020.
The exhibition Wild at Heart will move from Helsinki to Tokyo in October 2020. Further possible Japanese exhibition dates and locations will be announced later this autumn.
The furniture, interior and design fair Habitare, which takes place in Helsinki in November this year, is also a partner of the exhibition.
In cooperation with and supported by: