EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

The internationally acclaimed artist Chiharu Shiota will create a large spatial installation for EMMA in autumn 2021 


Since 2018, the collaboration between EMMA and Saastamoinen Foundation has seen works created by topically relevant international artists, tailored site-specifically for EMMA’s unique space. The fourth artist in the collaboration is Chiharu Shiota, who is known for her impressive spatial artworks, where she combines vast webs of threads with various everyday objects.

Chiharu Shiota: Secret Passage, 2018. Marta Herford Museum. Photo Sunhi Mang
Chiharu Shiota: Secret Passage, 2018. Marta Herford Museum. Photo Sunhi Mang

Japanese-born and Berlin-based artist Chiharu Shiota has been invited by EMMA and Saastamoinen Foundation to make a commissioned artwork in autumn 2021. Shiota will create the large-sized installation Tracing Boundaries, which spreads into the surrounding space and consists of a labyrinth of red yarn and old, wooden doors. The work invites the viewer to delve deep inside the web of threads while journeying into one’s memories and self. 

The solo exhibition by Chiharu Shiota (b. 1972) has gathered widespread popularity and was on display at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo last June–October. The artist’s works have been showcased widely in international museums and art biennales, such as Venice Biennale of 2015 and Sydney Biennale of 2016. 

Shiota’s commissioned work Tracing Boundaries continues the collaboration between EMMA and Saastamoinen Foundation, where a new work by an interesting contemporary artist is commissioned annually to the foundation’s art collection. The exhibition curated around the commission sheds light on the artist’s current practice. This form of collaboration was first carried out with the Alicja Kwade exhibition in 2018. The commissioned work of 2019 was created by artist Tatsuo Miyajima, and 2020 will feature Finnish contemporary artist Eeva-Leena Eklund.  

A diverse setting of media artworks is featured in the Touch exhibition in 2020 

The media space of Touch exhibition, which displays the Saastamoinen Foundation art collection, features works from Finnish and international contemporary artists. Early next year, the first joint work by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca called Faz Que Vai (Set to Go), 2016 will be on display during 4 February – 15 May 2020. The work of the artist duo, which is representing Brazil in this year’s Venice Biennale, is a video essay consisting of four parts. In each part, a different dancer interprets the traditional Brazilian Carnival dance, Frevo. Taking its title from the name of a Frevo step that pretends a moment of imbalance, Faz Que Vai portrays four dancers in their ways of articulating a form of popular tradition with gender and socio-economic issues. The dance style, included in Unesco’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, originates from the city of Recife, which is also the home of artists Wagner and de Burca. 

Starting May, the media space will feature Anni Puolakka’s work Diamond Belly (2018). Staged as a conversation with an artificial intelligence chatbot, Diamond Belly explores love and companionship between a human artist, the bot and mosquitoes. Puolakka is a visual and performance artist based in Helsinki and Rotterdam. They incorporate biographical and documentary materials into fictional worlds in videos, performances, videos installations and images.  

In autumn 2020, the space welcomes the work Biblion (2018) by Saara Ekström and Eero TammiThe darkly poetic work is born on locations that seem to have become end stations and storages for the printed matter: antiquarian bookstores, libraries, letterpress houses and anonymous spaces filled with oceans of abandoned books. Running in three parallel images in black & white and colour, and complemented with an evocative soundtrack, the work creates a gravitational pull towards the dense and layered heart of the book.  

Saara Ekström uses photography, film, text and installation in her work. The meaning of changes, destruction and growth and the contradictory need to both forget and remember are at the core of her works, which question our ways to analyse and classify history, matter and our environment. Eero Tammi graduated as a film editor from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. He has worked together with Saara Ekström since 2015. 

The programme of EMMA’s 2020 changing exhibitions kicks off with Tacita Dean’s first extensive solo exhibition in the Nordics. A solo exhibition by sculptor Aaron Heino, an awardee of the Fine Arts Academy of Finland prize, will be featured in the summer. In autumn, the artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset will create a new work for EMMA as part of an extensive exhibition on them. The exhibition also marks the celebration of the artist duo’s 25-year artist jubilee year. 

EMMA’s exhibition programme of 2020: 

Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Set to Go, 4 February  17 May 2020 

Tacita Dean, 26 Februar 3 May 2020  

Nastja Säde Rönkkö: for those yet to be, 26 February  23 August 2020 

Michael Schilkin, 22 April 2020–28 February 2021

IC-98: Rope Variations, 22 April  20 August 2020 

Fine Arts Academy of Finland prize exhibitionAaron Heino, 27 May  23 August 2020  

Anni PuolakkaTimanttimaha, 27 May  23 August 2020 

Elmgreen & Dragset, 23 September 2020  10 January 2021  

Leena and Kalle Nio, 23 September 2020  10 January 2021

Saara Ekström & Eero Tammi: Biblion, 23 September 2020  10 January 2021  

Eeva-Leena Eklund, 14 October 2020– 




Chiharu Shiota: Secret Passage, 2018. Marta Herford Museum. Photo Sunhi Mang
Chiharu Shiota: Secret Passage, 2018. Marta Herford Museum. Photo Sunhi Mang
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Faz que vai (Set to Go), 2015. Video still. © Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca
Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca: Faz que vai (Set to Go), 2015. Video still. © Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca
Anni Puolakka: Timanttimaha, 2018. Video still. © Anni Puolakka
Anni Puolakka: Timanttimaha, 2018. Video still. © Anni Puolakka
Saara Ekström & Eero Tammi. Biblion, 2018. Video still.
Saara Ekström & Eero Tammi. Biblion, 2018. Video still.


About EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art

EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Ahertajantie 5
02100 Espoo


EMMA – Espoon modernin taiteen museon kokoelma- ja näyttelytoiminta profiloituu kotimaiseen ja kansainväliseen modernismiin, nykytaiteeseen sekä designiin. EMMA sijaitsee Espoon Tapiolassa, professori Aarno Ruusuvuoren suunnittelemassa betoniarkkitehtuuria edustavassa Näyttelykeskus WeeGeessä. Näyttelytilat ovat pinta-alaltaan Suomen suurimmat, ja pelkistetty moderni arkkitehtuuri tukee EMMAn, Saastamoisen säätiön ja Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Säätiön kokoelmien sekä vaihtuvien näyttelyiden kokemuksellista esittämistä. Tervetuloa!


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