Tommi Toija Mutatis mutandis
22 January – 3 April
Tommi Toija’s mystic but delicately sweet ceramic figures, Strangers, cover the floor of the main gallery at the Jyväskylä Art Museum. Standing in the midst of these ceramic figures the viewer is forced to ponder their relationship with themselves and with others, individually and as a society. We are softly reminded of the fundamental questions of existence raised by Paul Gauguin in his 1897 painting Where do we come from? Who are we? Where are we going?
Tommi Toija has his own way of working his ceramic sculptures: after being fired the clay sculptures break or the artist breaks them on purpose and then reassembles them adding plaster, paint and whatever he finds on hand. The glazed surface reacts on its own in the kiln making an unexpected outcome.
This exhibition’s name, Mutatis Mutandis, translated from Latin is "once the necessary changes have been made", not only tells of Tommi Toija’s creation process of breaking and rebuilding but also of his confidence in the viewer’s ability to empathize with the mutations of fragmented stories and images.
Drawings are also presented along with the ceramic sculptures. And apart from the objects presented in the museum, there is a light projection of a "giant peeing boy” on the Sonera wall on the corner of Kilpisenkatu and Vapaudenkatu made in collaboration with the Jyväskylä City of Light organization.
Sculptor Tommi Toija (1974) is one the most renowned Finnish artists of his generation. Soon after graduating from the Helsinki Art Academy, Toija’s sculpture Little Traitor received a lot of attention at the Mänttä Art Weeks festival in 2003. In 2005, the artist’s sculptures called little fellows by himself were presented at the Helsinki Art Hall in the Young Artists’ Biennial. At the Turku Art Museum in 2006, Toija’s fellows critiqued the permanent collection. Throughout his career, Toija’s work has been in numerous solo and group shows both in Finland and abroad. But in the fall of 2014, the work by this Lapua born sculptor, now living in Helsinki, attained its largest audience with the gigantic peeing cement sculpture, Bad Bad Boy, on the Helsinki Market quay.
In Jyväskylä, Tommi Toija is known as the first artist to be announced as part of the integrated art initiative in the new Kangas housing and cultural area. This new sculpture, which will be revealed in the spring, will be situated in a park near the old factory pipe on the shore of the Tourujoki River