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Designmuseo: Works by Designers Aamu Song and Johan Olin (COMPANY) Opens at Design Museum Helsinki April 5 to September 22 2019

From a media release:

A Major Exhibition of Work by Designers Aamu Song and Johan Olin (COMPANY) to Open at Design Museum Helsinki
April 5 to September 22 2019

Check it Out

Secret Universe (5 April – 22 September 2019), Design Museum’s main exhibition of the spring and summer season presents the work of Aamu Song and Johan Olin of the COMPANY design from over the past ten years. This is the first time their work in design is being displayed to this extent.

HELSINKI: Designers Aamu Song and Johan Olin work like explorers. They look for traditional crafts methods and manufacturing skills in different parts of the world and consider the ways in which they could be included in present-day material culture, social debate and discussion. It all  began in 2007, when the designers investigated what crafts objects were still being made in Finland. Together with master crafts practitioners, the designers created a collection of objects called Top Secrets of Finland. Their work involving the secrets of craftsmanship continued later in Korea, Belgium, Estonia, Russia, Japan, the United States, and most recently in Mexico.
Fruit Matryoshka Design Company Aamu Song 2015c Company
Secret Universe presents for the first time all of Song’s and Olin’s expeditions from 2007 to 2019, focusing on the designers’ exceptional method, a combination of anthropology, folklore and mysticism. In their works, the unique world of Korean-born Song and Olin of Finland merges with the skills of masters of various crafts. Over the years, Song and Olin have created a large collection of furniture, fashions, accessories and art objects reflecting a wide range of skills in materials and production methods. The exhibition will also include an immense mural painted by the designers and showing all their various visits to factories in different countries.

Secret Universe prompts us to consider our own consumer habits. How and where are the objects that surround us made? Who makes them? How can we protect crafts methods and manufacturing skills that are in danger of becoming extinct?
Sea Matryoshka Design Company Aamu Song & Johan Olin 2012c Company
Song and Olin address the connections of production, manufacturing and the global movements of objects in a touching and human way, with the means of intelligent humour and narration.

Locally made products are disappearing, because they are being replaced by cheap products and locally manufactured goods are too expensive without any good reason. This influences our decisions about where to go next, to what country and how we will create our designs, Aamu Song and  Johan Olin point out.

The exhibition is curated by Chief Curator Suvi Saloniemi of Design Museum and the exhibition architecture is by Linda Bergroth.

Special demonstrations of work by master craftspeople
The exhibition includes a wide range of events and activities for museum visitors of all ages. There will be special ‘Holy Days’ celebrating the crafts of the whole world. Master crafts practitioners from Japan, Mexico, Finland and Russia will attend these events as guests and to give demonstrations of their work. At our design workshops for families held once a month on Saturdays, participants can work on masks that will be included in a growing installation for the exhibition space. The whole programme of events will be announced after the opening of the exhibition.

A book on the exhibition will be launched on 11 May
In the exhibition book, the work of COMPANY will be discussed by, among others, cultural journalist Catherine Hickley and curator Carlos Mínguez-Carrasco. The layout design of the book is by designer Nene Tsuboi.
Aamu Song & Johan Olin portrait COMPANY cElina Sominen
Aamu Song (born 1974) & Johan Olin (born 1974) are designers based in Helsinki and the founders of the COMPANY design practice. They are professionally active as artists, designers and producers. COMPANY has received the Finnish State Design Prize in 2010 and TARKISTA / EN LÖYDÄ: Internationalisation Prize  of the Helsinki Design Awards of 2018. Song and Olin are fascinated by the traditional processes of making products in different countries, the teachings of which they apply in their own projects. COMPANY has travelled to the factories and studios of small manufacturers in Finland and abroad. The journeys and trips have opened up new perspectives on traditional products and uses of materials. The design work of COMPANY is based on the narratives and activities of factories and products. It is their secret.

The products created as a result of COMPANY’s travels and projects are sold in the designers’ Salakauppa shop in Helsinki and via retailers around the world.
Dance Shoes Design Company Aamu Song 2007c Company


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