All posts filed under: scandinavian

Tamara Piilola: Painter from Finland

Tamara Piilola is a young generation Finnish painter with almost enigmatic ability to capture natural processes on the canvas. Or more than a process, her images offer views with a hint of gold in them. As a painter her perception seems thoroughly personal, and therefore can touch many. Piilola started the arts as a musician, and perhaps its possible to hear music when looking in to the painter’s landscapes. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: Where in Finland did you grow up and study art? TP: I grew up in the small city in the west coast of Finland. I studied in the south, in Turku and in Helsinki in the Academy of Fine Arts. I was an exchange student for one year in Leipzig in Hochshule für Grafik Und Buchkunst and spend months in Reykjavik during my studies. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: What is your story of becoming an artist?  TP: I’m the only child, and I started to think about art first through music. I studied in a conservatory for ten years, but in classical music you don’t have the freedom to play how …

Jumana Emil Abboud's videostill in Bildmuseet-exhibition, 2017.

Bildmuseet poses strong perspectives in Umeå

A tree blossoms, meadow is green, horizon is filled with stillness, which is almost touchable. The rich video footage by Jumana Emil Abboud narrates without noise. Palestinian artist, who lives and works in Jerusalem, uses video and audio to add into other mediums of storytelling. For her exhibition in Bildmuseet, The Horse, The Bird, The Tree and The Stone, the artist has added murals, and included drawings and sculptural objects to create installations that open up about personal and communal memories and losses. Her art handles belonging and peoples’ attachments to territories. For her project, she has visited sites, which carry haunted memory of the past. The artist visited wells and other water sites that no longer exist, but are retold in the oral history. Abboud’s current artwork carries magical components that mix with reality. The imaginary intertwines with researched material, which both influenced the art. The artist has collected stories and reinterpreted fairy tales from new perspectives. She used a story of Rapunzel, for example, to imagine lives of Arab women from a domestic point of …

Designer Margrethe Odgaard about process and color

Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard’s exhibition was on view at the Design Museum in Helsinki during this summer. An introduction to her work put the creative aspect of design in focus. Odgaard’s study of color and the cultural signification of it is very relevant and timely for innovative design conversation, in which we are looking for perspectives that see beyond the pure form. It feels timely to give design process a platform, which naturally builds discussion about contemporary creative culture. In the world of high tech platforms, we may say that the DNA of design can be found in those practices, which designers organically share with the world in which they live. Without the personal and playful approach, perhaps the future of design would find itself in trouble. The Helsinki exhibition featured Margrethe Odgaard’s collaborations and use of materials bringing forth an idea of process. What it highlights is that design should not abandon creativity and art. Margrethe Odgaard was assisting late Louise Bourgeois in the artist’s large scale work, which she created for MoMA in 2005-2006. The young designer learned from …

Interview: Marina Celander explores theater with intention

New York City based performer Marina Celander crosses boundaries in her artistic practice, which combines a variety of genres and approaches to making art. Her solo performances echo authentic voice, and her deep participation on stage with theater groups comes across as statuesque, moving, gentle and charismatic. Marina Celander is born as Swedish-Korean, and is a recipient of 2014 Lilah Kan Red Socks Award for her outstanding contribution to the Asian American professional theater in New York City. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: What choices did you make to become an actor, what is your background in the field? MC: I started out as a modern dancer. After I graduated from London Contemporary Dance School I moved to New York and danced for a bit with various companies and choreographers. At one point I decided to take acting classes, which was something I had always felt I wanted to try but was afraid to do, and started studying with Gene Frankel at the Gene Frankel Theatre Workshop on Bond Street. Despite my fears, I took that first class with Gene …

Interview: Yasushi Koyama, cuteness and nature in Finnish and Japanese aesthetics

Japanese sculptor Yasushi Koyama lives in Helsinki, Finland and exhibits frequently in the local galleries. In this interview, he ponders the aesthetics behind his cute wooden sculptures. The artist brings the two artistic worlds together in his deep knowledge of both Finnish and Japanese cultures. One of his revelations connects to an idea of etic (or ethic), a general belief that influences people’s behavior and attitudes. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: When did you move to Finland, and how did you decide to go there to study? Yasushi Koyama: I moved to Finland in Autumn 2007 to study Fine arts in Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Imatra. In 2006, I met Finnish printmaker Tuula Moilanen and took her art courses in Kyoto Japan. She was a good teacher and gave me some advice for Finnish education and art school. Then I decided to come to Finland to study. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: What is the best part of having two cultures to live in and with? YK: The best part is to have another viewpoint beyond one culture. In addition, in my own artwork Finnish culture …

Director Simen Braathen discusses ARCTIC SUPERSTAR

Norwegian documentary film director and advertising professional, Simen Braathen introduced his new doc ARCTIC SUPESTAR to audiences in New York City last week. His documentary about a Sámi rapper SlinCraze had the screening and a concert by the rapper at the United Nations as part of the Forum on Indigenous Issues. The film opened the Films From North program at the Tromsø International Film Festival earlier this year receiving a well-deserved welcome. US VICE Magazine described it as “one of the best music documentaries” of 2016. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: How did you start doing documentary films originally, did you plan on becoming a director as a career choice, or did it just happen? Simen Braathen: ARCTIC SUPERSTAR is my debut film and it was something I stumbled into 4 years ago. I was working in advertising in New York at the time and as a side project, photographer Martin Johansen and I wanted to make a photo exhibition that portrayed Norwegian rappers and the places they represent. You know, instead of reppin’ Brooklyn, Bronx or Compton, you would have …

Riitta Ikonen’s artistic day dreaming

Artist Riitta Ikonen traveled recently to Greenland to discover new artistic work that reflects interaction between humans and their natural environment. Her exhibition, “Glacial Reveries”, is on view at The Chimney Exhibition & Performance venue in Brooklyn until February 7th. Interestingly, the body of work touches directly a topic of glaciers and their fate in the age of the anthropocene. Reveries, then, as a form of day dreaming, means for the artist a human survival strategy during the end of the world scenario. The objects include; a ”wetsuit for the tip of an iceberg, a lifejacket for a brick, eroded stones tied back together with strings, a video hidden in a suit, stairs leading up to cinder block windows”. Few year ago, Riitta Ikonen captivated her audiences with a collaborative photography project, Eyes as Big as Plates, which embeds something remarkable of the elderly human portraits, characterizing people among their surroundings. In this interview, the artist discusses her exhibitions, travels, artistic practice and plans. Firstindigo&Lifestyle: Could you tell about this ongoing project called ”Eyes as …

Nordic nature: light and darkness represented

”As one follows the lines drawn at the map, across the light blue surfaces, further north, twists and turns, further north, straight lines, still north. This is where I see myself, at the island furthest north, at the North End, standing at the northernmost cliff, facing the North Sea.” (Tonje Bøe Birkeland/Lumiére, from Papa Westray in Orkney Isles, 1900) Darkness & Light contemporary Nordic photography –exhibition just opened on February 22nd at the Scandinavia House in New York City. Norwegian Tonje Bøe Birkeland’s photograph, displayed above, is part of her project that reflects how she takes on the role of fictional photographer Luelle Magdalon Lumiére (1873-1973), and recreates an imaginary journey to the Orkney Islands. Birkeland’s project travels back in time.  Her art combines photographs and texts, and she is also writing letters to Lumiére who as a traveler explored ie. western parts of Norway and New York. The artwork is an interesting dialogue between past and present, that is encompassing two life stories. Yet the images appear dreamlike hovering between fiction and reality. Two …

The Scandinavian American Theater Company’s evaporated themes

The Scandinavian American Theater Company (SATC) has through its 5 year of existence engaged itself to an array of controversial themes, which question, evaporate, give new perspective, challenge, and perhaps empower the very notion of the ‘Scandinavian’ theater tradition, as it might appear in the world marketplace.  The theater company was started by Danish actor Albert Bendix, who after landing in the New York theater scene in 2006, had a vision to establish a collective of theater artists who would represent talent from various Nordic countries. The idea was to bring a Scandinavian perspective to local scene; introducing a new generation of Scandinavian playwrights and theater artists with great ideas and work. In 2014, the company has already proven that the Scandinavian perspective offers both interdisciplinary ideas and multiple voices. The works and approaches create dialogues between current world trends and contemporary artists, and genre tradition and historical themes. The end products are narratives that are empowering.  SATC Founding Members are: Henning Hegland (Norway), Albert Bendix (Denmark), Lisa Bearpark (Sweden/US), Sebastian Nyman Agdur (Sweden/UK), Vigdis …

Fashion Curating: Unsustainability, gender and class readdressed

Fashion Interactions is a multidisciplinary exhibition that explores fashion culture by means of contemporary art, design and media. The exhibited works comment, on the unsustainability of the fashion industry, analyze the relationship of fashion and corporeality, and investigate how people use clothing as a tool for building identities. The exhibition is Curated by Annamari Vänskä & Hazel Clark and it presents works from: Federico Cabrera, Heidi Lunabba, Jasmin Mishima, Anna Mustonen, Nutty Tarts, Timo Rissanen, Salla Salin, Heidi Soidinsalo, Saara Töyrylä and Timo Wright. This exhibition opens on Friday November 15, 2013 in New York City. It is a collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design and the SheilaC. Johnson Design Center, Finnish Cultural Institute in New York, and the Centre for Fashion Studies (Stockholm University).   (Fashion Interactions-exhibition, Timo Wright-‘un fit’ video still) FASHION CURATING NOW is a daylong symposium at Parsons The New School for Design on Saturday November 16 9:30 am-5 pm. The symposium reflects the subjects around the Fashion Interactions exhibition focusing on the possibilities and challenges of contemporary fashion …