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Keiken is an artist collective co-founded in 2015 by Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos, based between London and Berlin. Keiken (the Japanese word for ‘experience’) create speculative worlds through filmmaking, gaming, installation, Extended Reality (XR), blockchain and performance, exploring the nature of consciousness and how societal introjection governs the way we feel, think and perceive. 

For Helsinki Biennial 2023, Keiken extend their project Morphogenic Angels with a new multimodal installation Ángel Yōkai Atā (2023) which acts as a portal to access a speculative world beyond direct experience.

Inspired by a visit to a magical spirit house in Thailand, the portal provides three different encounters: a sound work scattered along Lime Avenue, a house made for angels and spirits on the Isthmus connecting Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari islands, as well as an online interactive experience. A version is also available in the gallery space at Cultural Centre Stoa. 

Ángel Yōkai Atā translates as ‘ángel’ in Spanish/English, ‘spirit’ in Japanese and ‘house’ in Teneek, the language of the Huasteca people of Mexico. This angel spirit house is a home for spirits from Keiken’s speculative future.

In this future, humans organically reengineer their cells with the cells of other beings, plants and extraterrestrials to explore and connect with a beyond-human consciousness. They thus become angels. The angels value, and their house honours, all kinds of consciousness; ancestral, bodily, extraterrestrial and the cosmos, animal, nature, and cellular.

The idea of this protopian overarching world – a world which is striving to be better but not perfect – exists in a radically different time and space. It is post-capitalist, post work, post mass oppression, and introduces a space to imagine and dream how we could exist defying all that we know.

We invite visitors encountering Ángel Yōkai Atā to just be; listen to their body and if they like they can repeat this mantra:

A spirit is not just a spiritual thing, it is everything and to be a student of the invisible is the practice of compassion. Omoiyari.


Keiken, Ángel Yōkai Atā (Render of some Spirit Angel objects), 2023. Image courtesy of the artists.

The work is co-commissioned with Kanal Centre Pompidou Brussels, supported by Saastamoinen Foundation.

Keiken’s recent exhibitions have been staged at venues including ARKO Art Center, Seoul (KR); Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf (DE); Onassis, Athens (GR); Photographers Gallery, London (UK) (2022); 2nd Thailand Biennale, Korat (TH); House of Electronic Arts HEK, Basel (CH); Francisco Carolinum, Linz (AU); 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice (IT); Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo (JP) (2021); FACT, Liverpool (UK);

HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (DE); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt (DE); transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt HKW, Berlin (DE) (2020); Institute of Contemporary Arts ICA, London (UK); Jerwood Arts, London (UK) (2019).

Keiken are winners of the inaugural Chanel Next Prize and they recently began a residency at Somerset House, London.