PhD, M.Sc. Anna-Maria Wiljanen started as the director of the Finnish Institute in Japan on 1st of January 2018. Wiljanen completed her doctoral thesis in art history at the University of Helsinki in 2014. She has extensive networks and diverse experience from marketing and communications in both the field of culture and the world of business. Wiljanen has previously worked as the Executive Director of the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation and Communications Manager and Development Manager at the Finnish National Gallery.
MA Suvi Laakso started as the new project manager of the institute on 15th of January 2018. Laakso has a diverse experience from the Finnish cultural and academic institutes. She has previously worked, for example, as a coordinator for the Finnish institute in Middle East.
The institute’s new interns are FM Ella Karman (started on 1st of February 2018) and FM Katja Sjöström (started on 5th of February 2018).
FIN/JPN LAB -mini seminar series continues in spring 2018
FIN/JPN LAB is the Finnish Institute in Japan`s seminar series which brings together Japanese and Finnish residency artists and art professionals. Started in 2016, the speakers of the seminars have featured artists in residency in Akiyoshidai International Art Village and Yokobo Art Space, and guests participating have included curators, art journalists and gallerists.
The seminar consists of artists’ presentations on their work and residence experiences in addition to panel discussions. The focus on the event is the discussion of the effectiveness of the residence and the role of residency when it comes to building a bridge between Finland and Japan on the field of art.
FIN/JPN LAB was first established on October 2016. Two first seminars focused on photography and its relationship with art and text with the title ‘Art photographs, text and tea’. The theme of the third seminar was artist residencies and the international collaboration closely related to them.