The last week we had a short summer holiday travelling the south Finland. Because we decided to travel by our car totally 2000km (1240miles) driving with our 3-year-old boy, we enjoyed travelling stopping and staying in many places taking a lot of time. Our main destinations were Moomin World in Naantali, amusement park in Helsinki with our relatives, and EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art to see the exhibition of William Kentridge.
Finnish landscape is peaceful and horizontal from a car window, with repetition of the forest and large fields, and sometimes your way can be in between solid rocks, but not so many up & down. Since I am from Japan, for me driving for hours used to mean that you could expect to confront the mountains or the sea, and a lot of tunnels and winding roads are on your way. So, Finnish landscape is exotic for me especially when a road is straight as far as I can see, and when there is the vast sky with nothing interrupting it. I love it.
Do you know Moomins? They are the fairytale characters written and illustrated by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator, Tove Jansson between 1945 and 1993. Moomin animation was on Japanese TV in my childhood and many adults still love Moomin stories because they sometimes make us think about our lives, really deeply. Now our boy loves Moomins here in Finland and was excited to see them face to face :)
Naantali looked very nice.. I didn’t know that the city of Naantali has so many beautiful and old wooden houses. I have only this picture taken from a bus stop to go back to our car parking in a couple of minutes of staying there.
Next day of arriving at Helsinki, our boy enjoyed riding buses and trams (we have only long distance trains and buses which we rarely use in Rovaniemi). He was still sitting in a car anyways :). We went to the amusement park after exploring the public transportation. Because playing in the amusement park was the first experience for him, he went crazy jumping and screaming with his cousins. It was a colorful and beautiful day. I think I will remember this day many times in my life.
I love to see handcrafted wooden doors in Helsinki. The glass used in the doors is so old that landscapes through it look interestingly twisted. Old things are missing in our city, Rovaniemi since almost all the buildings were burnt down due to the war. I learn how much old buildings with beautiful detailes richen one’s spatial experiences. There was a sticker saying “start” on the street in front of the church. I smiled :).
We left from Helsinki to visit the Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Architectures of art museums are ALWAYS impressive. This museum isn’t an exception. And .. you can experience Futuro designed by Finnish designer Matti Suuronen in 1960s. Wikipedia says, “The Futuro house was a product of post-war Finland, reflecting the period's faith in technology, the conquering of space, unprecedented economic growth, and an increase in leisure time.”
Well.. how do we see about our time now and the future? Our future images seem so dark and depressing compared with the future images created in the past. We were talking in our car when the turning point of this change in mass media was, and it was probably when the movie "The Terminator" came in 1984.
I recently listened to a Japanese podcast that said, "We must think about the future which is after 7 generations when we decide any political issues right now". 7 generations mean 175 to 210 years or so? 210 years back from now is 1804, the year when Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate. Or, starting from my son as the 1st generation, my mother’s grandmother’s grandmother is the 7th generation back that lived in the late Edo period in Japan. Then looking forward, can we imagine in what kind of future our descendants will be living in 2224? How about your industry where your business is operating? Talking about wool felt production in my case, certainly wool was produced in 1804, and I’m sure it will be produced in 2224, too. What about handicraft? I’m sure our descendants will be working with their hands somehow because handicraft is basically interesting, but as a business, I have no idea...
William Kentridge’s one of the 2 works in the exhibition is titled “THE REFUSAL OF TIME”.
William Kentridge’s (b. 1955 Johannesburg) work has roots in theatre and politically committed art, and frequently comments on social injustice and apartheid. At its core it asks the question: How can we live with our traumatic past. Kentridge is a brilliant draughtsman, whose art is created by using his own drawings to make animated films and video installations. (from EMMA’s HP. Please visit EMMA for more information.)
William’s animation and installation were really awesome. He used his drawings to create the animation, “OTHER FACES”, using paper and probably charcoal, thus beautiful and classical grayscale on white, adding red effectively. In the installation, "THE REFUSAL OF TIME", films were projected on randomly placed plywood with red arrow stickers (normally used as packing labels) on, and some concrete blocks were piled here and there in addition of a wooden breathing machine and horn-like metal speakers. Every raw material was constructing the inspiring space. And Philip Miller’s music and soundscape were also really wonderful. I loved the works.
EMMA has toy museum and a children’s workspace/installation room as well. I put the photos of the room in my photo gallery below.
I hope you to have a nice summer vacation!