Contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s exhibition arrives to Finland

Recently renovated HAM Helsinki Art Museum has re-opened its doors and the first larger exhibition displays artworks by one of the most famous, contemporary Chinese artists Ai Weiwei from 1980s to present day. Beweship handled the transport of the artworks to Finland from around the world.

The over year-long renovation of HAM has finished and the space of the art museum nearly doubled during that time. The reformed museum has re-opened with five exhibitions, the largest of which is the Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s first private exhibition in Finland. Ai Weiwei, Chief Curator Erja Pusa and Curator of HAM Heli Harni have curated the exhibition. Overall, the exhibition has 27 artworks on display, two of which have never been seen before.

The common theme of the exhibition is Ai Weiwei’s strong vision of an artist as an advocate of freedom of speech and expression. This vision is also apparent in his artworks. Furthermore, the exhibition focuses on single material – wood, which has a significant status in both Chinese and Finnish cultures.

Head Registrar of Helsinki Art Museum, Tuija Kuutti, says that getting the Ai Weiwei exhibition to Finland has been a project that has taken a bit over a year to plan and execute, and the exhibition is definitely worth seeing. “The big artworks utilize the high arc halls of the museum really well.” One of the new artworks, White House (2015), is an enormous 80 m2 and 6 metres high house from Qing-dynasty (1611-1911) which has utilized parts of old buildings that were under threat of destruction. The other new artwork, Garbage Container (2014), tells the tragic real-life story from 2012 of five abandoned Chinese boys who had sought shelter in the garbage container, had lit up a fire to warm up and died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Finnish visitors might also be interested to know about the exhibition’s link to Finland – three photographs of Helsinki are displayed from 2001, which are a part of Ai Weiwei’s bigger Study of Perspective (1995-)

The exhibition has been well-received and there have been a lot of visitors every day since the exhibition opened. “During the opening week we had approximately 10 000 visitors which is a great outcome “, HAM’s Communications Officer Maarit Kivistö adds.

“The transports with Beweship went very well indeed. This time the big and heavy artworks provided some additional challenges but everything went according to plan and in schedule”, Kuutti commends.

Ai Weiwei @ Helsinki – exhibition at Helsinki Art Museum runs from 25th of September 2015 – 28th of February 2016. For more information:

Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) is located in Tennis Palace, right next to Kamppi shopping centre. Helsinki Art Museum oversees Helsinki’s own art collection which also includes the city’s public artworks. The museum focuses on modern and contemporary art.

Beweship is an independent Finnish freight forwarding and logistics company. Founded in 1957, Beweship has grown to one of the leading freight forwarding companies in Finland and the Baltic States. Beweship offers services in international air, sea, road and rail transports, customs clearances, art logistics, project logistics and removals.