News & events > Japan | The Essence of Finnish Design and Culture | touring exhibition
07 Apr 2012 - 10 Mar 2013

Japan | The Essence of Finnish Design and Culture | touring exhibition

A major travelling exhibition – “The Essence of Finnish Design and Culture” - is currently touring Japan. You can see it in Nagasaki till 24 December and then in Hyogo from Jan-March 2013. This exhibition consists of about 350 artworks spanning the various fields of painting, literature, architecture and craft, including the products of designers and brands that made the highlights of the golden age of modern design. In the design history of the 20th century, even among the top-ranking Scandinavian designs, Finnish modern design has achieved a unique position and popularity. Without limitations of age, or gender, the “Good Design”, targeting everybody, has drawn a lot of attention internationally since the early 1950’s and has a significant impact on the worldwide design scene.  Furniture by Alvar Aalto, mass-produced tableware by Kaj Franck or textiles by Marimekko, appearing in this exhibition, are long-life designed products of Finland intended to “enrich life” that, going beyond their original eras and times, are still favored by many homes nowadays. What can be seen in the background of Finnish design, rather than strict principles of functionalism or mere ecological stubbornness, is an attitude that consists in the pursuit of a “modernism good in all aspects for every people”. This philosophy of design was born in the rich natural climate of Finland, among the traditional and essential Finnish life-style of mutual support within local communities and coexistence of human beings with nature. The deep comprehension of the challenges of modern ecology and universalism has been handed down until today. A focus will be made on the “Moomin” series, as a symbol of the natural background of Finnish life-style. Through the world-famous story created by Tove Jansson out of the hearth of the life in forests, this exhibition will explore the keywords of Finnish life-style and design. In addition the exhibition will introduce the national romanticism movement and artworks of other artists from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century such as the painters Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Pekka Halonen, the architect Eliel Saarinen and others. These artists have embraced the landscapes of “Suomi” (Finland) or the mythical world of the national epic “Kalevala” as a source of creativity that leads to post-modern design out of Finnish spirit. Moreover, the chapter 3, as an epilogue to the exhibition, will also introduce the latest initiatives of the 2000’s toward eco-housing and public transportation, etc., in the lineage of Finnish “Good Design”. Dates and Venues •    07 Apr. 2012 – 03 Jun.     Aomori Prefectural Museum of Art •    10 Jun. 2012 – 26 Aug.     Utsunomiya City Museum of Art •    01 Sep. 2012 – 08 Oct.     Shizuoka City Museum of Art •    19 Oct. 2012 – 24 Dec.    Nagasaki Prefectural Museum of Art •    10 Jan. 2013 – 10 Mar.    Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art Organized by Aomori Prefectural Museum of Art, Utsunomiya City Museum of Art, Shizuoka City Museum of Art, Nagasaki Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art With the support of (all venues) Embassy of Finland in Tokyo, The Finnish Institute in Japan