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Aimo Tukiainen: Life at the Marketplace, 1961. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Torielämää Hakaniemessä / Life at the Marketplace

Artist Aimo Tukiainen

, Helsinki

Life at the Marketplace is a sculptural relief designed by Aimo Tukiainen. It is mounted on a wall in the entrance level of Hakaniemi metro station. The relief shows a bird’s-eye view of Hakaniemi market: canopies and stalls. Made of welded metal, the abstract style and technical execution of the piece represented a new direction in Finnish sculpture. A similar welding technique and idiom was employed around the same time also by the sculptor Eila Hiltunen in the fountain she made for the Bank of Finland (1961). One special feature of Life in the Marketplace is its lighting. When it grows dark, the work is transformed by light shining from lamps hidden under the canopies. Tukiainen later used a similar lighting technique in the memorial to Miina Sillanpää at Tokoinranta.

The plaque on the relief tells about the former owner of the piece. The work was formerly in the art collection of the Postipankki bank and, through subsequent changes in the bank’s ownership, it was eventually donated to Helsinki City Transport. It was originally acquired for and mounted on the wall of the new offices of the bank at Siltavuorenkatu 16. Life in the Marketplace does not belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

Sculptor Aimo Tukiainen is perhaps best known for the equestrian statue of Field Marshal Mannerheim (1960) standing in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.

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