The events in connection with the Secret Universe exhibition have been inspired by its special ‘Holy Days’ for different cultures, the skills of master craftspersons and local heritage seen and experienced by designers Song and Olin on their trips abroad.
On their expeditions, designers Aamu Song and Johan Olin (Company) met dozens of master craftspersons in small villages around the world. These encounters made a deep impression on the designers and the masters have a strong presence in the exhibition – on video and audio and naturally through the objects that they have made. The masters have also been invited to Design Museum’s special events, the Holy Days, which will be held during the exhibition.
The Holy Days will feature Japan in May, the Finnish craft heritage in June, Russia in August, and Mexico in September. The days will be celebrations of the handicrafts of different cultures and their high points will be demonstrations of work by visiting master craftspersons. The programme of the events days will also include workshops and many other items.
11 May Demonstrations of work by Kokeshi masters on the Japanese Holy Day of the exhibition
On Saturday 11 May, Abo Mutsuhide and Hiraga Teruyuki, masters of the Kokeshi wooden-doll tradition of Japan, will visit Design Museum. Mutsuhide, the older Kokeshi master, is from Northern Japan and the younger master comes from Miyagi Prefecture.
12 June Pre-Midsummer celebration at Design Museum
Helsinki Day, 12 June, will also be celebrated as the Finnish Holy Day of the exhibition with Finnish Midsummer as its theme. The event will include a demonstration of carving with a chainsaw by visiting wood caving artist Pertti Karhunen of Mikkeli and other Finnish masters of their craft.
The Mask workshop and installation once a month
Song and Olin, who created Secret Universe, have also made a participatory work for the exhibition with meetings and encounters as it main aspect. It invites people to make things together, to draw, touch and engaging in discussions. During the exhibition, this work will transforms from the touch of people as its empty masks are given a personality. Visitors can participate in preparing the work in an open workshop held once a month. The participants will leave the pieces that they have made to be on show as part of the installation.
The Mask workshop will be held on Saturdays 13 April, 18 May, 15 June, 13 July, 17 August and 7 September from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the Design Workshops for Families. It will also be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the exhibition’s Japanese Holy Day on 11 May, and the Finnish Holy Day, 12 June.
Get to know objects and artifacts at the exhibition’s Service Desk by looking, touching and testing
Secret Universe includes the Service Desk in the Collection room. Behind the desk are over 200 products that were designed and made in the Secret Universe projects. Open daily during the exhibition from 3 p.m.t o 5 p.m., the desk is an experiential and participatory work where visitors can personally handle inspect some of the objects.
When the desk is open to the public, visitors can first familiarize themselves with the available selection of items and then ask to take a closer look at an individual object. Some of the items can be studied visually and by handling them at one’s leisure, after which they are put back on the shelf.
The designers hope that since only one product can be chosen, the visitors will carefully consider their choices. In this way they wish to draw attention to the process of considering matters as opposed to our present-day abundance of goods and endless freedom of choice.