Happiness Is a Slippery Thing

I went to Kiasma this week. It is the most popular museum in Finland, displaying contemporary art. I was particularly touched by the Eyeballing exhibition where young comic artists search for new ways to present comics three dimensionally and the Thank You for the Music exhibition presenting a visual version of the soundtrack of our lives. With the permission of the Kiasma staff I will publish some snapshots I took during my visit. I wasn’t going to write about my Kiasma visit, or take photos there. I just wanted to treasure the moment so I don’t have many photos, rest of the images I will link here from other people’s websites. If you have a chance to see these art works in real life, they will naturally make a much stronger impression.


One of the most touching art works in the comic exhibition was Hanneriina Moisseinen‘s textile comic about a father who went missing. It was embroided on a series of white cloths used in Eastern Orthodox religion and white and black lace sown on it, using only black and white yarn. I was really touched by a particular frame where the little sister sat outside in the snow waiting for the father to come back, and the next frame where that same little sister voiced an endless amount of questions that seemed to fill the entire space around her, finding myself wondering if she ever got any answers to any of them.

Another room that filled me with emotion was the one with Katja Tukiainen‘s and Matti Hagelberg‘s work. The artists had decided to divide the room so that the Matti Hagelberg’s work was shown in a straight line around the room, black and white scrachboard images inspired by a very sad story Köyhää kansaa (Poor People) by Minna Canth who is one of our most famous 19th century national writers.  The comic makes the viewers see the economic effects on today’s Finnish society and understand that too little has changed from the nightmares of the 19th century poverty.


A fantastic contrast to this grim world was created in the very same room by the marshmellowy pink caramel world with unicorns and and fairies displayed just above the black and gloomy world of poverty. Katja Tukiainen’s pink figures set out to kidnap a unicorn to find them the key to happiness. This is her letter k in a series of installations titles Paradis a-z. I don’t think I have to tell you the things that went through my mind when I stood in this room. All the things we want and all the things we don’t need. Pink dreams and black realities. The world drowning in waste and people forgetting what really matters. When there is only the frantic search for happiness, not realizing that the happiness can only be found in oneself.


10 thoughts on “Happiness Is a Slippery Thing

  1. Hi annika,

    I wrote this long comment about the sweet serendipity of my very still Saturday morning which led to emailing another this quote I just read from a book I own but don’t visit often and finding your post in my inbox. However, it got lost in cyberspace while submitting. :/

    I wonder where these things go? : )

    I just share this fitting quote on my 2nd attempt:

    “Am I suggesting that we give up and no longer try to achieve our goals? Absolutely not. It is not the possession of accomplishments that is the problem: rather, the problem is the belief that they are the solution to an aching soul.”

    A wonderful post and I am so glad they allowed you to take and share photos to share with the rest of us in different parts of the world.




  2. Hi Annie,

    I have a bad habit of continuing editing the article after I’ve published it, it probably caused all that. So sorry.

    Thank you so much for reading my post and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Love that quote!!!

    Hugs, Annika


  3. ‘All the things we want, and all the things we don’t need’. Oh how right you are, that happiness is a slippery thing, and that it can only be found in oneself. It continually amazes me how much of the time I find myself looking for happiness in the wrong places!
    You’ve shared the story of your visit to this exhibition in a very special way. Thank you.


  4. Yes, we can find happiness inside ourselves. But we need to look deeply for it. And for many people this is difficult. So they prefer to look for happiness outside. But post like yours can help to go in the right direction. Thanks for this post and the interesting links.


  5. wise words. i was reading Rumi and he wrote something about the vanity of wanting. awesome pictures and words which lighted my day early.

    you have a new follower.

    thank you!


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