The Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C. has the privilege to host an art exhibition, Boutique –Where Art Meets Fashion from October to early November. The popular exhibition, which combines art with fashion was originally on display at the Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki as a part of the program for the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.
As the name Boutique suggests the exhibition has the ambience of a fashion house where different forms of art come together. It is a place that is supposed to seduce the customers by offering them something exclusive and an experience that is one of a kind. Boutique is not an ordinary art exhibition but rather encourages people to see art as a communal experience. The exhibition gives the viewer a chance to touch, listen, participate and enjoy the different forms of art.
The curator of the exhibition Annamari Vänskä has brought together visual, musical and dance artists, as well as designers in order to create this unique exhibition and a multisensory experience. Boutique is created in the spirit of collaboration and community, to which teams consisting of an artist and a designer created joint works of art. The teams on display in the Boutique-exhibition at the Embassy of Finland are Paola Suhonen–Mikko Ijäs, Katja Tukiainen–Samu-Jussi Koski, Tero Puha–Teemu Muurimäki, Salla Salin–Timo Rissanen, Minna Parikka–Jani Leinonen and Rauha Mäkilä–Juliana Harkki.
Artist Tero Puha's and clothing designer Teemu Muurimäki's combined installation Body Beautiful (Remix) plays with the idea of product branding and how a product can be made visually desirable. The main element of Puha's and Muurimäki's joint piece is a commercial for a luxury perfume and line of cosmetics. It toys with the idea of empty promises made by the fashion industry.
The installation Shoe Liberation Army by artist Jani Leinonen and shoe designer Minna Parikka is a surrealistic combination of pop culture inspired wall paper, a pair of shoes designed only for the exhibition and music by Vellu Maurola that adds to the mood of the piece. It can be described as a space full of cartoon characters and in the middle of it all a pair of shoes. The piece shows that fashion can be understood as the center of creativity, unpredictability and surprise. Both Leinonen and Parikka are known for their previous pieces full of humor and hilarity.
Fashion designer for Ivana Helsinki, Paola Suhonen and artist Mikko Ijäs present an installation A Land of Seven Fairytales. At the installation's core are Suhonen's short movies of fashion that were made when she was studying movie direction in Los Angeles. The short movies are presented with Ijäs' digital images that are made with iPhone technology.
Boutique - Where Art Meets Fashion
Embassy of Finland
3301 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Saturdays and Sundays 11 AM through 4 PM
October 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 and November 2-3.