Aki Turunen: The Dragon Tamer
03.03.2022 15:00 - 03.03.2022 19:00

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We will open the exhibition in the presence of the artist on Thursday, March 3, at 15–19

Aki Turunen made his debut in a Helsinki Contemporary joint exhibition in October 2020. Now it is time for his first solo show, The Dragon Tamer
The initial impulse for the exhibition came on ground very dear to the artist, Italy, on a visit to Siena Cathedral’s Piccolomini Library. What particularly stayed in mind were an early music manuscript hand-written on parchment and the hand-painted floor tiles. Turunen is a profoundly material-conscious artist. His painting process starts from curiosity and from a need that wells up from within. The Dragon Tamer exhibition is based on the pictorial tradition of medieval manuscripts and draws from the image world of Byzantium. The passage of time and the history of painting are like strata in the concrete painted surface of the works.
Mastering and developing different methods is typical of Turunen as an artist. Eight tempera paintings on wood form the backbone of the The Dragon Tamer exhibition. This method demands planning: the basis for the painting is a drawing, instead of its point of departure being paint. This technique gave Turunen access to a previously unexperienced terrain of pigments: the startling shades of the new works, such as azurite, shungite, mineral blue and vagone green, come into their full glory in the gallery space. This series of works is complemented by dry-pastel drawings made ‘alla prima’, by lush oil paintings, and also by watercolours that are intimate in their narrative, executed using paper dyed with tea according to the Japanese tradition. 
Turunen’s works raise the issue of the power relation between human and animal – did humans tame this reptilian creature or was it vice versa. The plethora of details and symbols invites us into the tale told in Turunen’s pictures. Many of the works are like stills from a fairytale. The prince playing a lute, Venus’ peonies and Aphrodite’s tulips hovering in the air, roses blooming in a secret garden, snakes slithering over skin, butterflies gliding from one work to the next, and wide-open eyes that at first capture us with their gaze, until they close tightly shut.

To guarantee the safest possible visit for everyone, we will limit the number of visitors in our gallery space if needed. We recommend the use a face mask. If you are feeling ill, please postpone your visit.

Read more about the exhibition >>

Do not hesitate to contact the gallery staff with any questions.