I have first learned about the Ratamo gallery in the Finnish town of Jyväskylä two years ago, during my stay in Guanlan, China, where I travelled for an international workshop focused on prints.
Within a year since I succeeded with my application for an exhibition at Ratamo, I found myself on my way to Finland, in the company of my friend, manager and collector Emil Prevuznak. We opened on December 11 and my work will stay on display in Jyväskylä until January 5.
My Interfields was opened together with the exhibition of Natura Forma by fellow printmaker Juha Laakso, a talented Finnish artist.
Ratamo enchanted me from the first moment I entered the space: the exhibition area was just amazing, pure, and perfect. My exhibition was just being installed, and, to my big surprise, it was done by one of the greatest printmakers I know, Naoji Ishiyama.
Naoji Ishiyama is a Japanese artist living in Finland, and our paths first crossed in 2017, when the Brussels-based printmaking atelier KASBA celebrated its 20th anniversary with an international exhibition gathering 20 printmaking artists from 10 countries, among them my works too. Naoji Ishiyama represented Finland at the exhibition. He works for the Ratamo gallery and it was a pleasure meeting him there – he indeed is a very perceptive and modest man, given his mastery and his achievement.
Getting to know Jyväskylä was a refreshing experience for someone from Central Europe. We only had a few moments after our long and rather adventurous trip, but I quickly noticed that there were very few older buildings left in the city, representing older architecture. Ratamo, located in an old railway depot building, is one of them.
Everyone at the Ratamo gallery was very helpful and easygoing and I am grateful to all, mainly Anna-Leena Pesonen who is doing a great job running the gallery.