Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Juhani Linnovaara, Listening to Silence, 1955, detail. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Juhani Linnovaara, Listener of Silence, 1955, detail. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

Always on display


Touch, the collection exhibition of Saastamoinen Foundation, presents contemporary Finnish and international art. The main theme of the Touch exhibition is humanity, and different sections of the exhibition address the human relationship with the surrounding reality.

  • Always on display
  • 2. floor
  • 12€ / Adults

    0€ / Under 18s and over 70s

Touch exhibition opened to the public for the first time in 2014. Touch is an exceptional collection exhibition, as it is renewed regularly work by work and section by section. Renewing the exhibition regularly deepens the theme of humanity, providing it with new dimensions. The exhibition is curated by experts from EMMA and Saastamoinen Foundation.

The exhibition also includes a media space equipped with EMMA’s state-of-the-art technology, displaying Saastamoinen Foundation’s new media art acquisitions. The media space programme:

Erkan Özgen: Wonderland 2 February – 1 May 2022

Jeannette Ehlers: Black Bullets 10 May – 14 August 2022

Maija Blåfield: The Fantastic 24.8.–27.11.2022



Listening to Silence

How does one listen to silence? Searching for silence is a part of being human. It can mean having a connection with the world inside or dialogue with yourself. We can also be silent together. Silence can be tormenting or soothing. Silence can be about saying nothing, keeping secrets or injustices inside. Happiness can be found in a silent meditative state, repetition or routines.

This part of the Touch exhibition has been built around Juhani Linnovaara’s (b. 1934) painting Listening to Silence. Bringing together older and newer works of the exhibition highlights parts of humanity that are present throughout time. The painting is accompanied by works exploring the inner world of humans – past events, traumas and their aftermath, along with the joy of play. In silence, you can hear something new growing.

Human and nature

The section displays artworks with nature present in different ways. Humans are a part of nature and the animal kingdom, but the balance between us is often lost. It is said that human is the cruellest beast of all. For us, nature can be a source of income, an obstacle to be cleared, a scientific challenge, a place to relax or a riddle.

The relationship between natural and unnatural has become blurred during our time. It is hard to find a natural state with no marks by humans. Many artists, such as Latifa Echakhch, Jani Ruscica and Roland Persson, approach this complex relationship between human and nature.

We also believe that we see ourselves in animals, both symbolically as in Pekka Jylhä’s rabbit works as well as through connection and friendship, such as in Maria Duncker’s horse-themed media installations.

Human, architecture and the built environment

Construction and the shaping of one’s living environment is a characteristic of humans. The works in this section address the human-built environment, architecture and their links to geometrical patterns, for example.

The works by Olafur Eliasson and Alicja Kwade commissioned for EMMA have been influenced by the architecture of the WeeGee house, which was designed by architect Aarno Ruusuvuori in the 1960s, in addition to the Tapiola milieu.

This group of works also includes Hans Rosenström’s audio work In Dependent Structures, which examines the human relationship with the surrounding space and other human beings.

  • Pekka Jylhä: With Tremor and Respect, 2005. © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

  • Roland Persson: Panama Papers, 2016. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Paula Virta / EMMA

  • Pekka Jylhä: Lyhdynkantaja, 1999–2000. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Paula Virta / EMMA

  • Maria Duncker: Hevonen on Häst, 2019. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Paula Virta / EMMA

  • Essi Kuokkanen: Pilvenpitelijä, 2020. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection © Paula Virta / EMMA

  • Maaria Wirkkala, Beyond This Point, 2020. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Paula Virta / EMMA

  • Elina Brotherus: Nu montant un escalator, 2017. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection

  • Ola Kolehmainen: Hagia Sophia year 537 III, 2014. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection

  • Grönlund-Nisunen: Restless Horizon, 2016. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection

  • Tilo Baumgärtel: Osoite, 2020. Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection. © Paula Virta / EMMA

  • Olafur Eliasson: Pentagonal landscapes, 2017 © Ari Karttunen / EMMA

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