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Tommi Hämäläinen
January, 2015

Fires warm us and bring us together, but they can also sometimes burn us badly – all the while throwing some very strange shadows indeed.

Tommi Hämäläinen’s current exhibition – his second with Love & Money at hasan & partners – chooses as its focal point the summer campfire. The Midsummer Finnish campfire in particular is a place of easy warmth, reflection and community, but is also a hazy place steeped in collective memory, in depressive personal and national history. And then of course the Finnish alcohol traditions are seldom very far away.

Tommi writes:

“I tend to be a dark-minded person, but I think that I feel both sadness and joy quite intensely. For me art is a kind of natural way of hiding to think – of going to a very private place to process my personal life.

I’m always looking for the right kinds of stuff – like going through a pile of puzzle pieces. I enjoy old, rusty, weird, simple objects; the stuff that people have thrown away. I just keep my eyes open to what I might find anywhere.

I salvage lots of little pieces of various ages and places: car parts, post cards, old medical and cook books, fabric, rusty pieces of metal, shoes, teeth, etc. I have an always-growing archive – a sort of library of broken things.

Objects that have belonged to someone – have been a part of a particular person’s life for a time – often have a sympathetic mark on them from that former life. I like to modify and adapt these simple objects, and to slowly see how these various pieces may discover their “right partners” as my artwork comes together. The whole process has the distinct feeling of “life cycle” for me.

In terms of media, my art has elements of collage, oil painting, and sculpture, and I am interested in blurring the lines between these three.”


                                                                                                                                                                   –      Tommi Hämäläinen

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