Intimate Entanglements: Contemporary Finnish Fashion

The exhibition Intimate Entanglements: Contemporary Finnish Fashion situates at the intersection of novel politicization and digital disruption of fashion. Through the works of Finnish fashion designers and brands, the exhibition explores the intimate relationship between the body and the clothes, and how digitalization impacts it. The exhibition shows how designers challenge body norms as well as the how of digitalization on fashion changes the relationship.

Intimate Entanglements: Contemporary Finnish Fashion is an edited version of the exhibition Intimacy displayed at the Design Museum in Helsinki, Finland in 2021–2022. The exhibition is based on extensive research on the work of the most prominent Finnish fashion designers of the 2020s and beyond. It is accompanied by the book Intimacy. Embodied knowledge, creative work and digitalization in contemporary Finnish fashion.

The exhibition is curated by Professor Annamari Vänskä and Post-Doctoral Researcher Natalia Särmäkari from Aalto University. Intimate Entanglements is part of the research consortium Intimacy in Data-driven Culture (IDA), funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Research Council of Finland.

Intimate Entanglements: Contemporary Finnish Fashion
Opening hours tbc
Meguro Museum of Art, Citizens Gallery
2 Chome-4-36 Meguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0063
Free entry, welcome!

Information about the auxiliary programme coming soon!

Knitted outfit (2020) by designer Leevi Ikäheimo. Photo: Mika Kailes. Model: Paavo Kärki.

Exhibition Collage: The Eloquence of Paper

Harri Kalha, Ph.D., (b. 1962) is a visual artist as well as a scholar and a non-fiction writer. In the late 1980s Kalha frequented the “drawing school” of the University of Helsinki and participated in various art courses. A year spent at Académie Roederer in Paris secured his artistic conviction. His central concern became the line and linearity, the exploration of which has since migrated from the pencil to scissors. In 1997, Kalha earned his doctorate in art history and moved on to pursue a prolific career in art scholarship and writing. The recipient of several book awards, Kalha was even nominated twice for the prestigious Finlandia award in non-fiction literature. He continued to make pictures, however, especially between book projects, and egged on by personal losses. Recently, the pressure for visual creation has become too overwhelming to be tackled “on the side”. Today Kalha, who likes to think of himself as a University educated folk artist, devotes 100 percent of his time to his chosen medium, collage.

Exhibition Collage: The Eloquence of Paper
ars gallery (5-13-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001)
11–18 (last day 11–15)
Free entry, welcome!

Harri Kalha: Cho Cho Chan, 2023

Harri Kalha: Cho Cho Chan, 2023


Ruminations on Collage

Collage is an art of recycling and re-contextualization: giving old images and papers new meanings. While collage artworks often flirt with surprise and absurdity, there are also subtler levels of meaning that arise from aesthetic elements (such as the textures and hues of aged paper), as well as from various cutting techniques.

All art, beyond technical explorations, entails self-expression: opening up, bit by bit, to others and to oneself. Like all tedious handwork, cutting and pasting can have a grounding or soothing effect. Yet in order to elevate “therapy” into something worthy of artistic presentation, the work must be driven by an underlying idea, be it aesthetic or conceptual.

The practice of collage is largely about decision making: killing your darlings. I personally prefer those fatal decisions to be conceptually informed, but while the concept may be more or less “literal”, the mood of a work remains subjectively expressive. My personality tends to melancholia, and my humor has a sardonic edge to it.

Technical gimmicks, visual puns and unexpected juxtapositions are part and parcel of this wondrous medium, but lighthearted surprise shouldn’t overpower the more tenderly personal levels of expression.

Harri Kalha, Ph.D., collage maker

Harri Kalha: Shibari, 2023

Harri Kalha: Shibari, 2023


Banner photo: Harri Kalha: Scenario, 2023

Communicating culture and traditions

The annual Finnish-Swedish week Hallå Tokyo! is here! This year the theme is Communicating culture and traditions. Come and join us and celebrate the Finnish-Swedish culture! 

Hallå Tokyo! 31.10.–3.11.2023

Kindly see the attached programme.

Registration for all events at:

Photos: Pexels, Lee Esselström, FIJ, Jonne Räsänen / Otava, Nina-Maria Oförsagd 

Clinical Art, Aging and AI? -seminar

The Finnish Institute in Japan continued its aging themed seminar series in 2023. This year’s seminar focused on Japanese Clinical Art and its Finnish counterpart Encounter Art. Thank you to all participants and speakers! 


Clinical Art, Aging and AI? -seminar 

Finland and Japan are both rapidly aging societies. The researchers are tackling questions like, how to prevent dementia related diseases, the loneliness of the senior citizens, and how to secure a mental and physical well-being with the help of AI, and other latest technological innovations.   

Studies have shown that art can boost mental resilience and help people to face changes with curiosity and creativity. Clinical art can offer a solution, but what exactly is it? How can it be beneficial, and how can it be implemented as a natural part of the aging society? These questions were be discussed by the Finnish and Japanese researchers at the seminar.  

Keywords: Clinical Art, Aging, AI, well-being, creativity, art and technology  


Date: October 12th, 2023, 3-7PM  

Venue: Academy Hills, Roppongi 

and ONLINE (Zoom) 


Taizo Oshiro, Associate professor, Touhoku Fukushi University  
Sari Heikkinen, PhD, Director Research Program, Laurea University for Applied Sciences   
Takashi Ishizuki, PhD, Associate professor, Touhoku Fukushi University  
Anne Eskelinen, Senior Lecturer, Laurea University for Applied Sciences   

Johanna Holmikari, Senior Lecturer, Laurea University for Applied Sciences    


15:00 Opening words 

Dr. Anna-Maria Wiljanen,  

Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan 


15:10 “Clinical Art and Encounter Art” 

Taizo Oshiro, Associate professor,  

Tohoku Fukushi University 


15:50 Break 


16:00 “Ageing in Finland and Japan – challenges and opportunities”   

Sari Heikkinen PhD, Research programme director,  

Laurea University for Applied Sciences and  

Takashi Ishizuki PhD, Associate professor,  

Tohoku Fukushi University 


17:30 “Encounter Art promoting well-being”  

Anne Eskelinen, Senior lecturer and  

Johanna Holmikari, Senior lecturer,  

Laurea University for Applied Sciences 


19:00 Closing remarks  

Dr. Anna-Maria Wiljanen,  

Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan 


19:10 Networking reception 


20:00 Doors close 



Presentation slides are available below: 

Clinical Art and Encounter Art 

Taizo Oshiro, Associate professor, Tohoku Fukushi University 


Ageing in Finland and Japan – challenges and opportunities  

Sari Heikkinen PhD, Research programme director, Laurea University for Applied Sciences and  

Takashi Ishizuki PhD, Associate 


Encounter Art promoting well-being  

Anne Eskelinen, Senior lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences and  

Johanna Holmikari, Senior lecturer, Laurea University for Applied Sciences 


Photo: Finnish Institute in Japan



Finnish Institute in Japan

Open Call – A Researcher’s Room

The Finnish Institute in Japan offers a working space for a Japanese or Finnish doctoral researcher, whose research topic is related to Japan or to Finland. The researcher’s room can be used for two months between October – December 2023.

An air-conditioned room with an access to kitchen (equipped with refrigerator and microwave) is provided. The room can be used weekdays between 9AM-5PM. The researcher’s room is located at the Finnish Institute in Japan, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo.  



Kindly send your application, including description of your research, the timetable of your research, and the name and contact information of your supervisor, in English by September 22nd, 2023 to

Exhibition Long Live Wivi Lönn!

Exhibition Long Live Wivi Lönn! celebrates her career and her significance for the generations of female architects who followed afterwards. It presents key designs from Lönn’s career, together with history of female architects in Finland.

Wivi Lönn drawing at her home in Jyväskylä, 1911–13. Photo: Fredrik Wilhelm Lönn / Museum of Central Finland


Year 2022 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Wivi Lönn (1872–1966). She can be considered the first woman in Finland to have worked independently in the field of architecture. Lönn was a pioneer in school design and a virtuoso of spatial composition.

Long Live Wivi Lönn!
Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library, 4th floor multipurpose hall
(5-7-13 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Free entrance, welcome!
For opening hours, please visit the library’s website.

The exhibition is produced by the Finnish Museum of Architecture, and it was previously shown at Waseda University.

Main photo: Tampere Fire Station, 1908. Museum of Finnish Architecture / Aukusti Heinonen

Vacant post at the Finnish Institute in Japan


The Finnish Institute in Japan (FIJ) promotes Finnish science, culture and higher education supporting and enabling co-operation and dialogue between Japan and Finland. The Institute identifies and recognizes trends and co-operation possibilities connecting potential collaboration partners. The Institute is part of Team Finland in Japan, and belongs to the network of 16 Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes.

The Finnish Institute in Japan is now hiring an Office manager starting August 1st, 2023, or according to agreement.

As the Office manager you will organize and coordinate office administration and procedures, in order to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency. Other tasks include administrative and executive support related tasks, and coordinating FIJ’s activities such as events, meetings and seminars. The office manager will work under the guidance of the Director of the FIJ.

In order to manage the task successfully, the applicant should have

* An academic degree

* Fluency in written and spoken English

* Native-level Japanese language skills

* Ability to work in a small but dynamic organization where tasks and duties may vary

* Knowledge of Finnish culture

The employment contract will be made for a period of three years.

Warmly welcome to send your application.

Please send your motivation letter and CV, in English, to by May 21st, 2023.

Inquiries and more information:

Director Anna-Maria Wiljanen,, +81 (0)80 4069 7846

Available for phone inquiries on Tuesday May 9th, at 5-6PM.

AI & Ethics -seminar

The Finnish Institute in Japan continued its AI-events with AI & Ethics ­seminar, held March 2nd at 3–6 PM onsite at Roppongi Academyhills and online on ZOOM. The seminar was the second part of the Finnish Institute in Japan’s seminars on the topic of AI and ethics and brought together experts on AI from both Finland and Japan. 

Date: March 2nd, 2023, 3–6PM
Onsite venue: Roppongi Academyhills
Online venue: Online (ZOOM)

3:00 Opening words
Dr. Anna-Maria Wiljanen
Director, Finnish Institute in Japan

3:15 “Japan – Society 5.0 & AI Ethics”
Dr. Lorenz Granrath
IXP – Institute for Experimental Psychophysiology, CONTACT Software, Kienbaum JAPAN, Waseda University – Energy NEXT

4:00 “Use of Telepresence, Experiences and Ethical Questions”
Dr. Sari Heikkinen (online on Zoom)
Laurea University of Applied Sciences

4:45 Break

4:50 “Issues with AI-based talking robots”
Dr. Graham Wilcock
University of Helsinki

5:30 “Conversational Agents and Trustworthy Interaction”
Dr. Kristiina Jokinen
AI Research Center, AIST Tokyo Waterfront
University of Helsinki

6:10 Closing words – Dr Anna-Maria Wiljanen

Finnish Institute in Japan


Conference: The Åland Example – a tool for a more peaceful world!

The Åland Islands is an autonomous, self-governing, Swedish-speaking part of Finland. The League of Nations granted Finland sovereignity over Åland in 1921. Furthermore, Åland is also a demilitarised region as confirmed in the Paris Peace Treaty in 1947. How to structure and build up a functional autonomy? What are the legal parameters and what does it require from governing Parliament and the region involved? How to ensure that local language is preserved? These topics were be discussed by the experts at the conference organized by the Finnish Institute in Japan and the Embassy of Finland, Tokyo. The conference was a part of the Finnish Institute’s 25th Anniversary program. Thank you to all participants!

Date: February 16th, 2023
Time: 3PM (doors open 2:30PM) – 6PM, followed by a networking reception
Participants: 40 persons
Place: Embassy of Finland, Tokyo


3:00 Opening words
Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan

3:15 Greetings
Tanja Jääskeläinen, Ambassador of Finland to Japan

3:35 “The Åland Example – A Success Story”
Mats Löfström, MP, Parliament of Finland

4:05 “The Åland Example – 100 years of Experience, The Åland Islands Peace Institute – 30 years of Peace Work”
Sia Spiliopoulou-Åkermark, Director, The Åland Islands Peace Institute

4:40 Coffee break

4:50 “The Åland Islands’ Legal Status and Its Implications”
Kaija Suvanto, Director General, Legal Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

5:20 “The Åland Examle: A Japanese View”
Fujio Ohnishi, Associate Professor, University of Hokkaido

5:50 Closing remarks
Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan

6:00 Networking reception at the Embassy of Finland, Tokyo

7:45 Doors close

The program may be subject to changes.

Organized by:

Oona Mäkelä: Same Same but Different

Exhibition: Feb 9 (Thu) – Feb 13 (Mon) 1-7pm
Venue: Almost Perfect, 2-3-2 Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Opening Talk Session with Anna-Maria Wiljanen, the director at the Finnish Institute in Japan: Feb 9 (Thu) 6-9pm
Please register for the talk event via Peatix.

A casual party on Feb 11 (Sat) 5-7pm with drinks served.
Please come visit to see her works.

Exhibition Same Same but Different is a collection of illustrations, prints and small clay creatures. The exhibition is about the things we can all find joy from despite of our background – in this case nature and dogs.I wanted to focus on similarities between Finland and Japan instead of the differences. Even though as an outsider I will always be seeing a lot of difference I noticed I was still attracted to the same things as in Finland. Things here might just have a little bit different shape but in the end they are the same.

Oona Mäkelä is a Finnish graphic designer, illustrator and print designer represented by Napa Agency. She’s attracted to fascinating color combinations and shapes. She aims to create work that is easy on the eyes and has something humorous to it. She is inspired by everyday life and badly behaved dogs.


Photos: Oona Mäkelä