My flight back to Berlin was on Sunday evening so I had most of the day left for sight-seeing. I wanted to visit Helsinki’s Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art because they are showing a temporary exhibition by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa – who is also the creator of the open-air “Sea Lives” exhibition that is currently displayed on Helsinki’s Senate Square: large-scale sea creatures constructed from colourful recycled plastic strips.
Kiasma is housed in a striking-looking building on Mannerheimiauko street in the middle of the city centre. Designed by American architect Steven Holl, the museum was officially opened in 1998. Kiasma is part of the Finnish National Gallery’s network of museums; they present cutting-edge Scandinavian contemporary art (no Warhol soup cans here!) with a strong emphasis on Finnish artists.
One of the retailers on my must-see list in Helsinki was organic supermarket chain Ruohonjuuri. Ruohonjuuri (the name translates as “grass roots”) is one of Finland’s organic food retail pioneers; their first store in Helsinki was opened in 1982. Today Ruohonjuuri has five stores in Helsinki and four outlets in other Finnish cities; they also operate an online store.
I had googled Ruohonjuuri prior to my trip and decided to visit their flagship store on Salomonkatu 5 in Helsinki’s Kamppii district: a very large and beautiful retail space, vis-à-vis from Kampii metro station. The store offers an extensive selection of fresh and dried organic foods, fruit and vegetables, frozen and chilled products and a spectacular organic beauty department, plus a treatment room where you can book a variety of face and beauty treatments.
I just returned from a weekend in Helsinki. It was my first visit to Finland and I had a great time: went to a couple of museums, took a day trip to Tallinn (capital of Estonia) and spent many hours in various stores and supermarkets checking out beauty brands and products. Stay tuned for more articles about retail and art in Helsinki/Tallinn! The first installment is a bit off-topic: whilst waiting at Helsinki-Vantaa airport for my return flight to Berlin, I came across a Moomin Museum pop-up exhibition.