Helsinki Biennial – new, innovative art in Finland

Helsinki Biennial is a new international contemporary art biennal. It’s located on the city’s archipelago island Vallisaari. Its inaugural edition will be running from 12 June – 27 September 2020.

Helsinki biennial‘s aim is to create a platform that communicates the diverse and dynamic nature of the contemporary art scene in Finland. The biennial also aims to establish links and collaborations with the wider global artistic landscape. Each edition will primarily comprise of major new, site-specific commissions by leading international artists. Encouraging a more sustainable approach to the making of an exhibition, the biennial embodies Helsinki’s ambitious, cultural vision.

Aleksanterin patteri (building), photo Helsinki Art Museum – The inaugural edition of Helsinki Biennial runs from 12 June – 27 September 2020.

Rooted in the significance of its maritime location, the exhibition takes place on Vallisaari, a former military island, only 15 minutes from the city centre by ferry. Vallisaari opened to the public for the first time in 2016. The landscape of the island is defined by its history and by the remarkable level of biodiversity. The biennial reflects on this context to address ongoing public debate around the evolving relationship between humanity and nature.

Maija Tanninen-Mattila, courtesy HAM – The inaugural edition of Helsinki Biennial runs from 12 June – 27 September 2020.
Helsinki is an open, welcoming city, which the Helsinki Biennial will mirror – opening up the Vallisaari island on the archipelago 24/7 to residents and visitors alike. We hope that this unique, informal setting will be a fruitful source of inspiration, bringing international art to locals, and creating more visibility for the art produced in Finland today. Maija Tanninen-Mattila

Presented by Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), the Helsinki biennial is directed by HAM director Maija Tanninen-Mattila and curated by HAM’s head curators Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola. The museum plays a crucial role in the city’s mission to support, maintain and pioneer art in the public sphere, and it is also responsible for the city’s extensive art collection, including its significant number of public artworks. The biennial is further supported by an international advisory committee made up of curators and academics.

Vallisaari Island Photo Helena Muhonen City of Helsinki Media Bank – The inaugural edition of Helsinki Biennial runs from 12 June – 27 September 2020.

Due to the role of Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki Biennial will also be present on the mainland in the museum and around the city through events organised in collaboration with the city’s arts organisations, museums and galleries.


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