EGS began his career as a graffiti artist back when the first wave of graffiti art hit Finland in the mid-1980s. His work for Helsinki Biennial revisits the artist’s signature map theme. Archipelago of Past and Future takes a look at Helsinki through the dual lens of history and possible future scenarios.
EGS (b. 1974) began his career as a graffiti artist back when the first wave of graffiti art hit Finland in the mid-1980s. Today he is Finland’s most acclaimed artist of his genre, with works found in over 50 countries. EGS is known for his stylized world maps in which the three letters of his name are merged with geography. EGS has recently expanded his repertoire to sculpture and blown glass. He has exhibited in galleries and museums and has also completed public art commissions.
Archipelago of Past and Future, 2021
EGS’ work for Helsinki Biennial takes a look at Helsinki through the dual lens of history and possible future scenarios. Spread across many districts of Helsinki, Archipelago of Past and Future consists of eight sculptures representing lost islands or possible islands of the future. Five of them are situated on former islands that have been swallowed up by urban development.
All that remains of their former identity are names such as Laukkasaarenkatu and Sompasaari (saari is Finnish for ‘island’). Three sculptures represent possible islands that could emerge in the future if Helsinki’s sea level rises drastically. One of the sculptures is located on Vallisaari Island.
Photo 1: Matti Pyykkö/Helsinki Biennial 2021
Hietasaari: In front of Länsiterminaali (West Terminal)
Laukkasaari: At the corner of Mastokatu and Linnankatu in the Katajanokka district
Kana: Parrulaituri Pier – On the outer parts of the pier
Sompasaari: At the corner square of Aallonhalkoja and Kapteeni Sundmanin katu
Kapitalismin karikko (Dire Straits of Capitalism): The eastern end of the Theatre Esplanade Park, the tip of the park’s centre axis
Kansanvallan luoto (Isle of democracy): The Finnish Parliament Annex (Pikkuparlamentti) Park, a paved area next to the Parliament Building
The Island of Last Winter: Vallisaari, the picnic area
Archipelago of Past and Future: The Island of Last Winter / Kellosaari / Hietasaari / Laukkasaari / Kana / Sompasaari / Dire Straits of Capitalism / Isle of Democracy
CNC-machined wood, steel, surfaces treated with paint and varnish
Thank You: Tuomas Siitonen Office / Monica Romagnoli, Studio Paakkanen, CNC-Siponen, Pekka Juuti, Salla Pöyry and Sami Saari
Commissioned by HAM/Helsinki Biennial 2021 and Kalasatama Environmental Art Project