Visiting EMMA

A pleasant Easter Sunday walk on a misty morning took us to the cosy Cafe Regatta in Toolo — a part of Helsinki we’d not been to.

At the secluded waterside cafe, I had coffee and an indulgent cardamom bun. I also got my dose of dog therapy playing with three dogs sitting in the cafe whilst their owners rewarded themselves for taking their pets for a walk.

Once we’d finished breakfast, we walked to the nearby Sibelius Monument, which was cordoned off because of works going on in the park.

We then walked to a tram stop to make our way to EMMA — the Esbo Museum of Modern Art. Of all the museums we’ve been to on this trip, this was my favourite.

Collection Kakkonen

The first exhibition you see on entering EMMA is the collection of Kyösti Kakkonen, a Finnish businessman. We saw a short film describing how he collected over 10,000 objects then came to an agreement with the museum to have some of them displayed.

After his collection was indexed, about 1,300 works were desposited at EMMA, much of it Finnish ceramic and glass art. I’d not paid much attention to this art form but found the collection fascinating.

Experiments in Concretism

Upstairs, there was an exhibition called Experiments in Concretism — something new to me. A poster described the movement:

Concretism is an art movement characterised by the use of non-representational forms, structures and geometry. The exhibition at EMMA presents concretist works from different periods, from the very beginning of the movement in the 1950s to the present day. Many of the works are spatial and seek to activate the viewer’s faculties of perception. In the context of EMMA, concretism finds significant resonance with the industrial and geometric architecture of the WeeGee building designed by Aarno Ruusuvuori.

This appealed to my mathematical side. The exhibition featured works by the pioneer of Finnish concretism, Lars-Gunnar Nordström.

There was a variety of other art on the first floor.

Tapio Wirkkala — Form

I also especially liked the abstract glass and wood creations of Tapio Wirkkala.

We had lunch in the museum’s cafe and later had a break for tea and cake when our energy levels were dropping (it’s a big museum!).

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