The Touring Exhibition Started its Journey in Fiskars, Finland

Posted on December 2016

Curator Riikka Latva-Somppi telling about the different themes of the Shaping the Future exhibition. (c) Minerva Juolahti

The Empirica research group leads the sub-project Shaping the Future which is a part of the European Ceramics and its Dimensions project. For the sub-project the year 2016 has been eventful. In April, the sub-project conducted a future oriented workshop at the KAHLA Porcelain factory in Germany, in the end of the summer the open call for entries for the Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future exhibition closed and in November the first exhibition opened its doors in Fiskars, Finland.

Events Around the Exhibition

During the autumn 2016 there have been many events in Finland related to the sub-project. In October, the sub-project was able to bring Charlie Stern, a Stockholm based artist and researcher to visit Aalto University in Helsinki. At the university, he produced his art works for the Shaping the Future exhibition and at the same time the visit offered the students of Aalto a wonderful possibility to follow closely his artistic practice. The glass parts for the project were blown by Kazushi Nakada in Aalto University.

The Ceramics and its Dimensions project leader Wilhelm Siemen and the Shaping the Future sub-project leader Maarit Mäkelä opening the exhibition. (c) Minerva Juolahti

The opening of the Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future exhibition was held on the November 9th 2016 in the White Hall, Copper Smithy in Fiskars, Finland. The opening gathered together a great number of local artists, designers, artisans and students. Also many of the Ceramics and its Dimensions project’s European partners were able to participate. During the opening, there were performances from artist duo Melodic Scribe and performance artist Salla Valle. The ceramic 3D printer Arra from Aalto University was in action during the evening and the Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future publication was published. The publication is not just an exhibition catalogue, as it has also several interesting articles that present different perspectives of the future dimensions of ceramics.

A performance by Salla Valle. (c) Minerva Juolahti

The exhibition discusses the future of ceramics by exploring new techniques and rethinking materials. Many visitors have been especially interested in the new 3D printing technique, but also other themes of the exhibition, such as food culture and local materials, have gotten attention. Finnish newspapers have written about the exhibition, also one of the largest newspapers in the country Helsingin Sanomat that reaches three quarters of a million readers per day. Fiskars is a relevant place in the field of Finnish ceramics not only because a lot of Finnish ceramists live and work there, but also because it is the place where a new museum for ceramics is being built. The museum will be the first ceramics museum in Finland.

The performance of the Berlin based artist duo Melodic Scribe at the exhibition opening in Fiskars. By playing the piano, plates get a unique pattern of glazing. (c) Minerva Juolahti

Round Table discussion in Fiskars. (c) Minerva Juolahti

Around the exhibition opening there were many events in Fiskars.  In the beginning of the opening week, the Future Lights competition was held at the hotel Tegel in Fiskars. As part of the Shaping the Future exhibition the Round Table meeting took place in Fiskars just two days before the opening. In the meeting, local ceramists and designers could discuss the future of ceramics in a local context with the project associates. The discussion was led by professor Tapio Yli-Viikari. Right after the Shaping the Future exhibition opening, the Ceramics and its Dimensions partner meeting took place in Svartå Manor, which is located near Fiskars. Fresh snow surrounded the conference venue and offered a beautiful scenery for the meeting.

On November 26th, a 3D printing workshop was held in the Shaping the Future exhibition and it attracted many interested participants in all age groups.  After Finland, the Shaping the Future exhibition will continue its journey to the Porzellanikon Porcelain museum in Selb, Germany and afterwards tour to five cities around Europe. In Selb the exhibition will open in January 2017.

Little workshop participants watching closely how the 3D printer Arra is printing in clay. (c) Minerva Juolahti

Tapio Yli-Viikari – Emeritus Professor Shaping the Future

The ceramics professor at Aalto University and the initiator of the Shaping the Future sub-project Tapio Yli-Viikari becomes an emeritus professor in the end of 2016. In his jubilee seminar at Aalto University on November 30th invited speakers gave speeches of which many concentrated on the future. Among the speakers were associate professor and the leader of the Shaping the Future sub-project Maarit Mäkelä and Michael Moore from Ulster University, one of the Shaping the Future sub-project’s partner institutes. Tapio Yli-Viikari has been a major contributor in the sub-project and hopefully will be involved also in the future.

Read more and follow the tour of the Ceramics and its Dimensions: Shaping the Future exhibition on the blog: futureceramics.aalto.fi, on Instagram @shapingthefutureceramics and on Facebook facebook.com/ShapingTheFutureCeramics.

Read more on the European Ceramics and its Dimensions project on the web page: ceramicsanditsdimensions.eu.