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Markus Rissanen: The Mystery of the Often-Sneezing Octopus, 2022. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. Photo: © HAM/Maija Toivanen.

The Mystery of the Often-Sneezing Octopus

© Visual Artists Association Kuvasto

Yläkivenrinne 4, Helsinki

The Mystery of the Often-Sneezing Octopus by Markus Rissanen can be seen on the facade of the extension of Myllypuro Comprehensive School. The installation consists of ceramic tiles and is based on the mathematical/logical Hex Rosa pattern developed by Rissanen. The pattern consists of a repeating hexagon that is divided into rhombi, i.e. diamond shapes. By varying the shapes of the diamonds and the shades of brown and black, Rissanen has built a continuous rose pattern. According to the artist himself, the ceramic installation can be seen as splashing ink or a diving black comet with sparks flying out, among other interpretations. The first association is where the installation got its name.

Rissanen’s body of work consists mainly of paintings through which he studies the abstract information diagrams and sign systems used in sciences. Rissanen delved into the mysteries of geometry in his doctoral thesis in which he solved a well-known mathematical problem related to tiles with rotational symmetry.

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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