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Kalle Mustonen: Polar Bear Boy, 2018. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: HAM Helsinki Art Museum

Polar Bear Boy

© Visual Artists Association

Köökarinpolku 1, Helsinki

Polar Bear Boy is a four-metre-tall wooden figure by Kalle Mustonen (b. 1979, Lahti) that stands in the yard of Yliskylä Daycare Centre. From the second floor of the building, you can observe the boy at eye level. Children can play at the foot of the figure. The mood and the proportions of the work complement the understated architecture of the daycare centre. The work is made of heat-treated pinewood.

Because the figure of the boy does not offer a readymade interpretation, it leaves room for children to create their own stories. The artist says: “The polar bear boy is a symbol of climate change and makes you think of the environment. Over the course of its life, we may see it stand in the snow, or it may become a reminder of white winters past. The posture and expression of the giant boy contain a hint of trust in the future.”

The work was produced under the Percent for Art programme, and it belongs to the collection of the City of Helsinki, managed by HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

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