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Finnish sculptors in park – HÄH

Jukka Lehtinen


The HÄH sculptures from eleven different artists are on display in the park outside the Taarasti art hall. Sculptor Jukka Lehtinen has selected works that challenge visitors to examine critically conventional ways of creating art. Each artist has his or her way of surprising the viewer, making you go ”Häh!?” and requiring a re-examination of the artwork with a broader perspective.

The exclamation ’Häh!’ marks that moment when one mentally translates a sight or experience into understanding. According to one Dutch research paper, some variant of this exclamation is used in 31 different languages to prompt a repetition of what has  just been said.



Heini Aho (born 1979 in Turku) lives and works in Turku. Aho creates totalities, which could be called sculptural spaces or spatial sculptures. Aho combines elements of sculpture, installation and the moving image into works addressing issues of space and perceptions of the environment.
In Aho’s works, the analytical meets the intuitive, and the material meets the immaterial. Although the themes of the exhibition are initially broad, Aho’s method is always based on observing a concrete phenomenon and the law-like characteristics of the material. The form of the works and their spatial execution often bring to mind a stage or stage set.

In December 2016, Aho was awarded the main prize by the William Thüring Foundation. Her most recent exhibitions in Finland are The Primary Force behind an everyday experience, Galleria Titanik Turku (2016) and Playing with the Dragon at the Forum Box in Helsinki (2015). Her latest joint exhibitions have been Videokaffe at Galerie Anhava in Helsinki, One Art in the Space and Open Source Gallery in New York (2016) and Videokaffe in Gallery Luda, St Petersburg (2015). Her videos were last seen at the Lux Helsinki Festival (2016).


Andy Best (born in Cuckfield, UK in 1963) and Merja Puustinen (born 1963 in Hamina, Finland) live in Espoo and have worked together since 1992. Alongside her art career, Puustinen works as a cultural policy researcher and is doing her doctorate in visual art at the Academy of Fine Arts.  Best works as a lecturer in sculpture at Aalto University. Puustinen and Best have organised the Objekti exhibition of contemporary sculpture and environmental art in central Espoo since 2014. Their latest exhibitions have been Miks ei! (Why not?!) at Gallery Uusi Kipinä in Lahti (2016) and Hot Porridge and Rubbery Spuds at Kajaani art museum (2016). Their works have been seen at the exhibition Waiting for Paradise in Ängeln Culture Centre in Katrineholm in Sweden (2014).


Pavel Ekrias (born 1987) Ekrias has been graduated as a sculptor in 2011 from Lahti Institute of Design. With mechanical movement Ekrias creates strong tensions where the spectator can see and experience symbols of their own lives. He is interested in the nature of the materials; how different materials complement and shape each other, as well as bend to create both space and movement.
His latest exhibitions are Almost MUU at the Cable Factory gallery in Helsinki (2015), Mechanical Waves at the Konstepidemi galleria in Gothenburg in Sweden (2014), Sie bewegen sich doch (And yet it moves/ Eppur si muove), with Petri Eskelinen and Jukka Lehtinen at the Galerie Toolbox in Berlin (2014) and Horizontal Relations at Mältinranta Art Centre in Tampere (2013).


Petri Eskelinen (born 1975 in Rovaniemi) lives and works in Helsinki. Eskelinen’s mechanical sculptures comment, often in a playful way, on our ways of observing the world. He bases his mechanical works on invention, problem solving and simplifying an impossible ideas in the concrete forms of an sculpture. Lately, his works have become closer and closer to the viewer, making the viewer more of an user of the work than just a looker. The way how the scientific instruments work and the act of building and constructing are the main ways of producing his physical work. For example, the work can represent simple artificial life, which is being activated by the user with their actions. Sometimes, these works aim to go give the user a new way to experience the movements and trajectories of their bodies. Eskelinen calls these works contact sculptures. the works relation to technology is like winding an old alarm clock, understanding the cause and effect and having a feel of the physical action. His new work “Resonation of the trees” is in Taarasti Exhibition.

His latest exhibitions are Tunnelin malli (Model of a tunnel) at the Reikä gallery in Helsinki, Kolmen kappaleen ongelma (The problem of three pieces) with Ilmari Grytan and Christer Gråhn at Rovaniemi art museum (2014 – 2015) and Sie bewegen sich doch (And yet it moves/ Eppur si muove), with Jukka Lehtinen and Pavel Ekrias at the Galerie Toolbox in Berlin (2014). His works have also been shown in the exhibition Taiteen tähtitaivaat (Starry skies of art) at the Göstä art museum in Mäntä (2016).


Aaron Heino (born 1977 in Pori) lives and works in Helsinki and Nurmijärvi. Primitive forms of nature can be seen in Heino’s aesthetically sophisticated works. Aaron Heino has an absolute eye for form. In his workshop, objects are self-evidently born regardless of the material, be it fiberglass, stone or metal. The language of form is abstract and organic and the sculptures are characterized by an inner energy, while direction and position are also are also significant parts of each work. The surface is often carefully honed and shiny, and the colors of the works remind of the esthetic context of industrial design. This makes them seductively beautiful. There is a certain lightness and playfulness to Aaron Heino’s sculptures, as if they were born through intuitive improvisation. The abstract forms also tend to come close to something performative, which the artist makes use of when he comes up with the titles of his works. The included narrative dimension further increases the complexity and facets of the works.

His latest exhibitions have been in the Bremer gallery in Karkkila’s old industrial museum (2016), at the Kivimeijeri Somero (2016).  His works have also been shown with others’ at Kumpostrand Konst&Form exhibition in Söderkulla (2016), Tila haltuun! (Occupy the space!) exhibition at the Rovaniemi art museum (2015) and the NordArt exhibition at Büdelsdorf Germany. Heino’s works are also on display at the Europe Statue Park in Balatonalmádi Hungary (2015 – 2017).


Otto Karvonen (born 1975 in Helsinki) lives and works in Helsinki. Karvonen’s work includes video, installations, sculptures and participative performances. For Taarasti Karvonen will continue with his long-term project Alien Palace Birdhouse Collection. It consists of birdhouses that are modelled after detention centres for immigrants in different European countries.

Karvonen has taught at the University of Fine Arts and at Aalto University. Karvonen’s works have been on display at the Hors Pistes Festival at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016), the Skulptur exhibition in London organised by the Royal British Society of Sculptors (RBS) (2015), the art weeks at Mäntä (2014).  Karvonen’s public work called Kaupungin juuret (The Roots of the City) was made for the Kampi metro station in Helsinki.


Jukka Lehtinen (born 1962 in Kuusankoski, Finland) lives and works in Orimattila. Lehtinen’s best known work is probably the Oma maa mansikka (Home Sweet Strawberry) (2007) in front of the Pikkuparlamenti building next to the Parliament building in Helsinki. For several years he worked as lecture responsible for sculpture at the Lahti University of Fine Arts. Nowadays, he teaches at Aalto University.

His latest exhibitions are Mieli ja materia (Mind and Matter) at the Gallery Sculptor in Helsinki (2015), Sie bewegen sich doch (And yet it moves/ Eppur si muove), with Petri Eskelinen and Pavel Ekrias, at the Galerie Toolbox in Berlin (2014). Lehtinen’s works have been seen with others’ works at Tila haltuun! (Occupy the space!) exhibition at the Rovaniemi art museum Korundi (2015), Viiden tähden kartano (Five Star Manor House) exhibition at the Lahti Historical Museum (2015).


Inka Nieminen (born 1971) lives and works in Helsinki. Her works are sculptures and multimedia installations.  The works present encounters between humans and animals. The artists key interested are light, sound, landscape, form and material. In the exhibition her work is called Cumulus.

Inka Nieminen teaches at Aalto University. Her works have been on display most recently in Helsinki at Gallery Lapinlahti (2016), Taidesalonki (2014), Galleria Sculptor (2013), Kluuvi Gallery (2010) and in Sweden at the Katrienholm art centre (2010). Her works were also shown in the Saastamoinen Foundation’s collection exhibition Kosketus (Touch) at EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art) (2016)


Tuula Närhinen (born 1967 in Helsinki) lives and works in Helsinki. Närhinen did her doctorate in fine art (KuT) in 2016 at the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts on the subject Visual Science and Natural Art. In her works, Närhinen examines and comments on nature and the state of the environment. The process of image making is at the core of Närhinen’s art. Homemade instruments and a documentation of the working method are important elements of her works, along with a dry sense of humor. She has developed methods for letting trees trace the shape of wind on their branches or found techniques that the enable the waves of the sea to inscribe themselves on paper.  “
The Drum set for the Rain” pays homage to summer rain. An acoustic sculpture put together of recycled tin cans starts to resonate in the rain. Sunshine makes a summer vacation but the patter of a rain shower sets the beat of the life as well.

Her latest exhibitions are Bokeh in the studio of Taidehalli Helsinki, Sateen kosketus (The Touch of Rain) at the Kluuvi Gallery in Helsinki (2013). She has participated in numerous international exhibitions, for example, Waterscapes – Wasserlandschaften, at the Stadtgalerie Kiel Germany (2015), the University of Fine Art’s research pavilion exhibition Experimentally at the Venice Biennial (2015) and Hidden Art – Dold Konst in Mälmö, Sweden (2015).


Riikka Puronen (born 1968 in Loviisa) lives and works in Helsinki. She works as lecturer in sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts. In her own work she boldly combines traditional and modern materials, methods and styles. Puronen’s latest exhibitions in Helsinki are at Galleria Sculptor (2016), The World of Ideas at the gallery of photography Hippolyte (2013), at the gallery Forum Box (2012), and at Galleria SE Konst at Falun in Sweden (2010). Her works have been seen with others’ for example at Tila haltuun! (Occupy the space!) exhibition at the Rovaniemi art museum Korundi (2015), the Örebro open art exhibition in Sweden and the Stressed Beauty exhibition at the Grand Palais, France.