Espoo Museum of Modern Art

Tschabalala Self, 12pm on 145th Street, 2022. Courtesy of Tschabalala Self Studio © Paula Virta / EMMA
Tschabalala Self, 12pm on 145th Street, 2022. Courtesy of Tschabalala Self Studio. © Paula Virta / EMMA

08.05.2024 - 04.05.2025

Tschabalala Self: Around the Way

American artist Tschabalala Self (b. 1990) regards herself primarily as a painter, although her works can also be seen as collages. In addition to painting with various pigments Self incorporates textiles, threads and printmaking in her works. She uses recycled materials and often draws details with a sewing machine. Her life-size sculptures are like three-dimensional paintings that form narrative scenes together with the works the on walls. 

Self explores themes related to race and gender in her work. Although the artist draws on her personal experiences as a Black American woman, the paintings feature imagined figures. Self depicts bodies that are both exalted and objectified in Western imagery and art history. By deconstructing and reimagining this imagery, she creates a new kind of narrative surrounding the Black body.  

Self was born and raised in Harlem, New York. The title of the exhibition, Around the Way, is a Black American expression describing an individual who is from and of the neighbourhood and possesses a specific quality of being that can only be found amongst that community. Together the works present a portrait of such individuals. Claiming space in their streets, homes and most intimate spaces, they determine how they are seen and understood.  

Tschabalala Self: Around the Way is part of the InCollection exhibitions series co-produced by EMMA and Saastamoinen Foundation. Each year, InCollection commissions a new work by a visionary contemporary artist. Self is the seventh artist in the series. 

  • 08.05.2024 - 04.05.2025
  • 2nd floor
  • 20€ / Adults over 29

    10€ / Discounted admission

    0€ / Under 18s

    0€ / Museum Card

Mobile guide

Read more about the artworks and listen to the playlist created by the artist on the exhibition’s mobile guide!

Exhibition on the media


Suyin Haynes, CNN, 2.6.2024
Tschabalala Self is an artist expanding what it means to paint


Helen Korpak, Kunstkritikk, 24.5.2024
Contested Bodies


Eli Anapur, Widewalls, 6.5.2024
Tschabalala Self’s First Solo Exhibition
in Finland to Open at EMMA


Daisy Woodward, AnOther Magazine, 2.5.2024
Brilliant Things to Do This May


Berlin Art Link, 1.5.2024
Worldwide Exhibition Hit List: Art Openings May 2024


  • Tschabalala Self, Negligee 2, 2023. Courtesy of Tschabalala Self Studio © Paula Virta / EMMA
  • Tschabalala Self, Anthurium, 2023. The Saastamoinen Foundation Art Collection © Paula Virta / EMMA
  • Tschabalala Self, Fade, 2019. Private collection © Paula Virta / EMMA
  • Tschabalala Self, Negligee 1, 2023. Courtesy of Tschabalala Self Studio © Paula Virta / EMMA

Exhibition team

Curator: Ingrid Orman
Project management: Nella Aarne, Ingrid Orman (EMMA), Päivi Karttunen (Saastamoinen Foundation)
Graphic design: Kuudes
Technical design and construction: Miika Kyyrö, Lasse Lindfors, Robin Lindqvist, Olli Lukkari, Lasse Naukkarinen, Jari Rönkkö, Viivi Vierinen
Lighting: Lasse Lindfors
Conservation: Oliver Laitiala, Saara Peisa
Registration: Jenni Enbom
Exhibition texts: Nella Aarne, Ingrid Orman, Nanne Raivio
Mobile guide: Nella Aarne, Nanne Raivio, Helmi Tolonen
Audience engagement and events program: Reetta Kalajo, Nanne Raivio
Guided tour design: Sanna Rintalaulaja
Customer service design: Maija Eränen, Bodil Stenvall
Marketing and Communications: Iris Suomi, Helmi Tolonen
Photography: Paula Virta
Videography and postproduction: Ojares, Paula Virta
Video production: Nella Aarne, Paula Virta
Service sales, visitor surveys: Essi Huhtanen
EMMA Shop: Mira Alanko, Salla Engström
EMMA customer service and guides
Translations: Tomi Snellman (English), Theresa Norrmén (Swedish)
With thanks to: Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Pilar Corrias Gallery, Tschabalala Self Studio

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