A gateway between Finnish and international art


 A gateway between Finnish and International art

Susan Fourtane

Helsinki Times

KIASMA celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a successful art festival last weekend. 

Those who attended the celebration maybe wondered about its history or at least felt a bit of curiosity for the people in pink suits they saw around. Why pink? Let’s find out!


In 1998 Mikka Häkkinnen won his first world championship. Matti Ahtisaari was President of Finland. The local currency was the Finnish markka. Kiasma opened its doors to the art lovers on 30 May.


The idea of a Contemporary Art Museum started in the late 30s. Until 1990 the Contemporary Art was in the Opera building. 


In 1992 Finland received 563 proposals product of an international competition from which Chiasma, (Crossing) by the American architect Steven Holl, was selected.


 “As soon as Tula Arkio, Kiasma’s first director, saw Chiasma, a miniature made of clay accompanied by drawings she realized the architect knew about art, how the artists think and how to value the space art needs. The other proposals were made of paper and cardboard”, explains Milla Unkila, Communications Manager at Kiasma.


The construction started in 1996 followed by a competition on the fence. A student from the Art and Design University proposed painting it in pink. The proximity of the museum to Mannerheim’s statue was debated. At the end, grey faced the Marshal.


The original pink fence was cut into small pieces and nowadays they serve as a free-entrance ticket for those who bring the piece to the museum.

The peculiar story of the pink fence remains as one of the colours in Kiasma.  


Holl decided to build a wall on the fifth floor separating the exhibition hall and the panorama window. “If art wouldn’t have its space it would compete with the view.” Ulkila quotes Holl. 


Kiasma is one of the few museums in the world which concentrate on Contemporary Art with artworks dating from the 1960s onwards.


The Anniversary exhibition, Fluid Street, explores how we interpret and use the public stage.


With its 126 artworks, Image and After proposes introspection in the meaning of images and how they manifest in Contemporary Art.


Besides bringing the most interesting and influential international art, Kiasma gives space to Finnish young artists. An exhibition in Studio K gives artists an opportunity to make their dream come true.


This autumn Kiasma will present Full House, an exhibition of Contemporary Art classics, in cooperation with the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Drawn in the Clouds, an Asian exhibition with the sky as theme 



About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
This entry was posted in Helsinki Times, Published Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s