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“Cyanoceans” by Tuomas A. Laitineni & Kristina Õllek

Kai Art Center is delighted to present a duo exhibition featuring Finnish artist Tuomas A. Laitinen and Estonian artist Kristina Õllek. In their first collaboration, Laitinen and Õllek provide a comprehensive overview of their recent works, creating an alluringly translucent environment.

Artists’ tour in English will take place on Saturday January 27th at 2 pm.

Tuomas A. Laitinen’s work revolves around the exploration of symbiotic processes infused with mythological undertones, grounding itself in the concept of mutualism. Drawing inspiration from various biological theories as well as mythical stories, Laitinen’s work transcends the mere study of biology to inquire about the intricate entanglements of structures and lives within our complex, pulsating ecosystem. On view at Kai will be his complete series of Proposal for Octopus glass sculptures which Laitinen started in 2016, including the newest additions to the series made in 2024. Premiering at Kai will be his new video work filmed at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in December 2023 which highlights the changing skin color of sleeping octopuses. Laitinen’s years-long research into cephalopods’ unique behavior and the remarkable similarities between the nervous system and sleep patterns of octopuses and humans fuels his special interest in species adaptation and neuroplasticity in rapidly changing environmental conditions.

With Kristina Õllek, the artists have created a synergetic installation supported by steam, and ultrasonic sound which gives the viewer a sense of being underwater. The focus of Õllek’s work over the last six years has been the exploration of the intricate relationship between marine ecology and technology, using various geographical regions as case studies. For this Kai installation Õllek has concentrated on the Baltic Sea, creating a series of new works using grown seal salt, cyanobacteria, and green fluorescent pigment. Experimenting with organic and synthetic materials in recent years has been a way to allow unexpected results to become part of her practice. Standing in sea water in purpose-built aquariums, her salt installation will continue growing and changing for the duration of the exhibition.

Together, the artists create a thought-provoking narrative that invites us to reflect our responsibility for the planet which is part of us, undivided from our bodies, and to question whether humans as a species are ready to adapt to the challenges of climate conditions in the near future.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, City of Tallinn, the Finnish Institute in Estonia, Helsinki Contemporary, The Alfred Kordelin Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and PALO Productions.

Additional information:

Kai Art Center

Peetri 12, 10415 Tallinn

Wed–Sun kell 12.00–18.00


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