The international art event Helsinki Biennial will bring outstanding contemporary art to maritime Helsinki 12 June–26 September 2021. The Port of Helsinki will also take part and support this experience-rich event. The theme, the Same Sea, reminds us that we all depend on each other. Even when faced with a climate crisis, we all live and work on the shores of the same sea.
In summer 2021, the entrance lobby of the Helsinki West Harbour’s terminal T2 will feature graffiti artist EGS’s (born 1974) work Eilisen ja huomisen saaristo, ‘the archipelago of yesterday and tomorrow’. This piece was implemented as a collaborative project between the Port of Helsinki and Helsinki Biennial, and its purpose is to welcome the tourists arriving in Helsinki to the Helsinki Biennial.
The piece exhibited at the West Harbour brings together the eight islands, the larger versions of which spread around Helsinki as a part of the Helsinki Biennial. The work by EGS considers the City of Helsinki through the perspectives of history and future views, comprising eight sculptures referencing eight lost or potential future islands.
Five of the sculptures exhibited at Helsinki Biennial are located in places where an island surrounded by water has disappeared due to urban construction. Only the names of streets and city districts, such as Laukkasaarenkatu and Sompasaari, remind us of these islands. Three of the sculptures depict islands that will be born if the sea level rises drastically. All eight of these islands can be seen at the T2 terminal in a smaller scale.
The biennial experience will continue right outside the terminal, where one of EGS’s large island sculptures is located.
The career of graffiti artist EGS started after the mid-1980s, inspired by the first graffiti wave in Finland. With his work at Helsinki Biennial, EGS continues focusing on the subject of maps, which is a familiar theme from his previous projects.
The main event centre of the first Biennial is Vallisaari
Helsinki Biennial is a biennial, international art event that brings outstanding contemporary art to maritime Helsinki. It presents 40 top names of visual art both from Finland and elsewhere. The artists have been invited to create new, location-specific and temporary pieces for Vallisaari or to exhibit their existing works that will maintain dialogue with the island.
The sea is also a central part of the Biennial’s main event area, Vallisaari, which is a sea fortress in front of Helsinki with a unique history and environment.
The Same Sea – connected to everything
The name of the first biennial – The Same Sea – reminds us that everything is connected to everything else and is therefore dependant on each other. We are at the shores of the same sea when facing a climate crisis. However, the sea is different in different places and at different moments, and so are the impacts of this crisis to different people and species around the world.
In these challenging times, people long for art and culture experiences. We wish that the biennial will bring hope, joy and light to city residents and visitors alike.
For more information, please contact:
Senior PR Manager Leena Karppinen
+358 40 334 6384