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Artek’s summer exhibition 'Factory Visit' brings the factory to Artek Helsinki store

Traditional summer exhibition at Artek Helsinki brings in a piece of the wood-scented Littoinen factory where Alvar Aalto’s birch wood classics are fabricated to this day. Created in the spirit of Finland’s 100th anniversary, the exhibition reveals some of the secrets of wood bending and takes us from the early days of Artek to contemporary times.

Wood was the passion of Artek founder Alvar Aalto. He started to explore the possibilities of wood bending in the end of 1920s and developed several innovative methods, one of which is the patented L-leg system used in many of Artek’s Aalto collection pieces.

The Factory Visit exhibition presents the making of the L leg from massive wood to a finished product. The moulds of Arm Chair 41, known as the Paimio chair, as well as those of the arm rests of Chair 45 have been put on display. They are still in use today to bend the pieces of massive birch lamella by using traditional methods. The exhibition continues in the store with a collection of bent Aalto furniture classics, looking as youthful as they did at the time they were born.

The exhibition's look, a documentary film about making the L leg, and sales items made for the exhibition have been created by creative studio Musuta of artist couple Jopsu and Timo Ramu. They have been inspired by the Artek factory, crafting by hand, and the warmth of wood. This is why the short documentary film made for the exhibition is based on Jopsu Ramu’s hand drawn graphics. The film describes the making of the L leg sympathetically and abstractly through passion and organicity rather than as a process.

The sales exhibition presents a limited number of designer Jopsu Ramu’s silkscreen-printed stools, art posters, and a beautifully streamlined ceramic bird sculpture. The bird pattern repeated in the exhibition is based on Ramu’s earlier work. The bird lives by collecting pieces of fishnet, sticks, coins and other beach items to its tree. The theme is also reflected in the posters and the graphic pattern printed on stools.

This summer exhibition is open until 2 September 2017 on Monday to Friday from 10 am to 7 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm. The exhibition texts are available in Finnish, Swedish and English. Guided tours open to the public will be arranged in the store during the summer.

Address: Artek Helsinki, Keskuskatu 1 B, 00100 Helsinki

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About Musuta

Jopsu and Timo Ramu – MUSUTA

Jopsu and Timo Ramu are an internationally awarded film-maker and designer couple.

Multidiscipline design studio Musuta was founded in 2007. Operations quickly grew from a basement in Punavuori, Helsinki, all the way to Tokyo while building a commercial and artistic career in advertising, animation, design and installations.

Musuta has been recognized with several international awards, including the golden lion of Cannes Lions, the pen at D&Ad Awards, and the European Design Award.

 The couple’s works have been presented in exhibitions, museums and at film festivals around the world. Their clients include Issey Miyake, Iittala, Muji, James Bond, Star Alliance, Shiseido, Finnair and many advertising agencies. They are inspired by both nature and the metropoles of the world. Jopsu and Timo Ramu live in Helsinki and Tokyo.

About Artek – Art & Technology since 1935

Artek was founded in Helsinki in 1935 by four young idealists: Alvar and Aino Aalto, Maire Gullichsen, and Nils-Gustav Hahl. Their goal was “to sell furniture and to promote a modern culture of living by exhibitions and other educational means.”

In keeping with the radical spirit of its founders, Artek today remains an innovative player in the world of modern design, developing new products at the intersection of design, architecture, and art. The Artek collection consists of furniture, lighting, and accessories designed by Finnish masters and leading international designers. It stands for clarity, functionality, and poetic simplicity.

For more than 80 years, Artek’s products have enriched public spaces, museums, schools, restaurants, hotels, shops, as well as countless private homes all over the world. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, also home to the Flagship Store Artek Helsinki and the Artek 2nd Cycle Store.

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