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Jukka Siikala 

January, 2019

The masterfully crafted visual art of Jukka Siikala is not for the faint of heart. As his own website helpfully informs in its brief, impeccably direct introduction: “Forms and ideas assembled into a silent scream oozing tension and ecstatic nausea – flickering between active sadism and complete indifference of being.”

One of Siikala’s most ambitious and strange projects involved two journeys to Japan’s infamous Aokigahara ’suicide forest’ at the base of Mount Fuji. “When I heard that there is a forest where you can see carcasses of human body if you are lucky enough to find them, I was really excited. In Autumn 2013 I took a flight to Tokyo equipped with a very light camping gear and a compass…”

Elsewhere Siikala writes: “I deal with shameful subjects and in my art I humiliate myself as a part of the rather undeniably idiotic human race. I manipulate viewers and entertain myself, yet I am not that deeply invested. This is Zen. I am exploiting everything. It is not that serious, just something to fill the time. But yes, sometimes I have these moments of seeing myself through the eyes of, for example, my relatives, and a shadow of shame passes through me. I could bring beauty to a world. It just doesn't feel honest.”

© Love & Money, 2018