Welcome to the opening of the exhibitions by Aoi Yoshizawa and Tuuli Saarekas on Wednesday 15 May 2024! 

The exhibitions are on display from 16 May to 9 June at Suomenlinna’s HAA Gallery. 

Aoi Yoshizawan ja Tuuli Saarekkaan teoksista kuvat.

Image: Aoi Yoshizawa (left) & Tuuli Saarekas (right) 


Aoi Yoshizawa: NOT BIG ENOUGH (Hall 1) 

NOT BIG ENOUGH is a loom installation built from handmade wooden tools and repurposed yarns, suspended in space. This large-scale loom is the result of Aoi Yoshizawa’s artistic research project I AM A WEAVER, in which she explored traditional weaving methods and reinterpreted them with her technical curiosity. The installation, which combines ancient weaving techniques with a backstrap and warp-weighted loom, balances itself between wall structures using stones placed in plastic bags. The idea for the artwork was developed during the artist’s residency at HIAP Suomenlinna, whose layout and spatial details echo those of the HAA Gallery. 

With the installation, Yoshizawa aspires to create tools that test the limits of hand weaving and communicate the potential of iterative and slow practices; revealing the creative process in contrast to industrial efficiency. She also aims to understand the mechanisms of weaving and to explore the relation between tools and the body. In the weaving process, the loom guides the weaver’s body with repetitive movements, and the body becomes a tool in itself. 

”In developing the loom installation, I have focused on forming my own tools and what the process of weaving can bring to us, rather than on the final products that the loom can weave. As an artist and a weaver, I want to create a powerful hand-weaving tool to showcase the infinite possibilities of textile creation by hand.” 


Aoi Yoshizawa is a Japanese visual artist based in Helsinki, engaging in the experimental process of applying traditional craft techniques to contemporary textile practices. She is particularly interested in patterns of movement, technical thinking and the slow processes of hand weaving. Yoshizawa holds an MA from Aalto University (2015) and a BFA from the Bergen National Academy of Arts (2011). 

The artist’s work has been supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Ornamo Foundation. Both the work and the exhibition are supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. 


Tuuli Saarekas: City Mix (Hall 2) 

Tuuli Saarekas (b. 1988) presents spatial works made with mixed media in her exhibition City Mix at HAA Gallery. The buildings and city silhouettes in the exhibition are assembled for example from threads, cardboard, hama beads, paper, tiles. A sculpture called Street Survivor, made of bronze and brass, walks in the urban environment built by Saarekas. 

Street Survivor moves along the winding streets and side paths of the city passing many kinds of buildings on which people are living. There are residential buildings, bars, churches, offices. The creature feels calm and strong. It wouldn’t mind if someone in the city yelled at him inappropriately. Street Survivor walks from one city to another and senses its surroundings and different cultures with interest. As a kind of ambassador of peace, it strives to create peace, hope and good spirits around it. 

Street Survivor was born into the exhibition out of a desire to get stronger and go on adventures. As she lives in Helsinki, Saarekas often gets inspiration for her works from city life and observing the urban milieu. The works in the exhibition are made by hand, relatively slowly, but with the mind wandering quickly not only on the streets of Helsinki but also abroad and in invented cities. The works made with mixed media together create a colourful, materially abundant city mix bursting with details. 

The exhibition has been supported by the Greta och Alfred Runebergs Stiftelse. 


HAA Gallery
Suomenlinna C1, 00190 Helsinki
Opening hours: Tue–Thu 12–6 pm, Fri–Sat 12–4pm (open 9 June) 

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