Cult Finnish cartoon art floats into Riga

A new exhibition featuring artworks by the 'Kutikuti' Finnish art collective opened aboard a floating gallery in Riga Thursday. 

The exhibition titled Tempora Mutantur (The times change, from the Latin) at the NOASS floating gallery on the River Daugava features 38 different screen-printed works on a range of subjects from the lighthearted to the decidedly dark but all suffused with a very particular Finnish sensibility that has seen them develop an enthusiastic cult following worldwide.

Kutikuti described itself as "a non-profit contemporary comics association and artist collective formed in Finland in 2005. The core of Kutikuti consists of circa forty members who make, teach and publish comics. Kutikuti has over hundred supportive members around the world and has quickly become one of the most recognized marvels of the Finnish comics scene abroad. We operate internationally with an aim to maintain and develop comics as an art form."

One of the artists involved, Hannerliina Moisseinen spoke to LSM about Kutikuti (which translates as something like "tickling") and its particular character.

Artist Hanneriina Moisseinen on Finland's Kutikuti movement

    The exhibition was put together with cooperation with Latvia's own pioneers of the comic art, Kuš! Komiksi, and is sponsored by the Finnish embassy in Riga as well as Norden, the Nordic Council of Ministers.

    Norden's Riga office chief Jan Widberg explained why his organization chooses to back off-the-wall projects such as this that often get overlooked by other funding sources.

    Jan Widberg on Norden

      In July the exhibition will move into Latvia's regions with stays slated in Cesis, Daugavpils and Liepaja.

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