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Evald Okas Museum
Exhibitions 2016
Exposition of works by Evald Okas: drawings, graphic art, paintings, objects
exhibition spaces on II floor of the museum
Versatility is characteristic to the creation of Evald Okas. The artist was highly productive during his entire life. During three summer months, an exposition introducing rich creation of Evald Okas is open in Evald Okas Museum. The exposition provides thorough overview of the creation of the artist throughout the years.


28.05 – 26.06.
One Other Time. Paintings by Vano Allsalu
museum gallery

Vano Allsalu's exhibition "One Other Time" in Evald Okas Museum in Haapsalu offers a selection of his paintings from the last decade.

Vano Allsalu: When you paint, it may be even more important to know when to stop, to finish. This is a decisive moment. But the painting continues to ripen – in the painter's heart, in the eyes of the viewer. One other time, when you look at it anew, the painting has already changed. [...] Sometimes it is good to leave it, not to make a painting at all. Or to make it later, only when you really cannot avoid making it.

In addition to the factor of the will and the time, the exhibition also raises questions about the artist's handwriting and visual language as a kind of structure, which in its changeability can even turn out to be its own opposite – a systemic urge, a chaotic pattern, (self-)ironical (self-)admiration. Or a set of visual elements that are self-organised by their intrinsic "wisdom of the swarm" – which leaves the creator merely the role of an applauder, of someone who tries to shoo the thrushes from the berrybush.

The time with regard to the painting can be interpreted at the level of the internal dynamics, duration and speed of the process of its creation or as a journey that the viewer takes when exploring the painting. It can also be observed as a dialogue between oil and acrylic as slow and fast drying colours, or a relationship between the nature of visual forms and the "speed" of the artist's handwriting. The fabric of thought underlying the visible structure of the painting. The emergence of meaning on the borderline between the abstract and the figurative. Order and chaos. The stratification of layers of paint over one another.

Johannes Saar (KUNST.EE 2016/1): In fact, Allsalu is essentially interested in colour and its accumulation on his canvas, the fierce movement of the brush across its surface and the pattern of dance steps that it leaves behind – a lapidary and robust trace of splashes, which allows the viewer, like a criminalist on the crime scene, to make ballistic calculations regarding the circumstances that caused the disorderly splashing of the paint onto the canvas.

Vano Allsalu (born in 1967) studied painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts which he graduated in 1991. He is a member of the Estonian Artists' Association (since 1992) and Member of the Board of the Estonian Painters' Association (since 2012). Since 2011 Vano Allsalu has held the post of Associate Professor of Painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts and since 2013 he has been President of the Estonian Artists' Association.

Vano Allsalu
Vano Allsalu
Vano Allsalu
Vano Allsalu


29.06 - 17.07
Visions "Earth and Heaven". Selection of created works 2009-2016, Leo Rohlin.
museum gallery

The exhibition includes three parts:

1. "Cosmic geometry"
These are relief wall sculptures, which figures – circle, square and triangle – include thousands ceramic small elements, and should express certain meanings and states of mind, offering to the viewer possibilities for introspection and in some special cases even for meditation. The inspiration has been found from sand mandalas of Buddhist monks, made with great patience, which vanish into the universe after completion.

2. "Nocturne"
These installations have been inspired of the night programme of the classical radio "Nocturne". (Hence also the sub-headings: "Appassionata", "Karilatsi Pastoral", "Night Sounds" etc.) The exposition includes sets of stripes, where two materials have been used – masculine, stone-hard ceramics and feminine, soft textile. Each stripe consists of forty basic particles. Usually a stripe is part of a whole itself, while separately it is just an impersonal basic element (a stripe in the pattern of a skirt of national costume, in a bar code etc). However, in this exposition, stripe is an independent unique unit, an individual, being first and foremost a soloist, but also a part in a composite choir, if necessary. Completely black stripe is just a silence, pause between words, sentences or sounds.

3. "If we could only pass this forest"
The exhibition is a homage to the poetry of Juhan Liiv and his personality. In an peculiar way, the creation of Juhan Liiv, dating mainly back to the late 19th century, has aroused much interest also today and not only because of his recent anniversary, but much more broadly. The relationship of Juhan Liiv with today is multi-layer; one related phenomenon is the longing of aggressive, speedy and depressive contemporary nation for immediate and sincere emotional world and melancholic simplicity.
The main accent of the exposition is laid on a figure consisting of ceramic or textile elements, framed by an installation of a row of pictures completed in collage technique, where the author has used fragments of the aquarelle paintings made in his youth, and connected these with the ink painting completed this year. Pieces of real landscapes are contrasting with abstract play with figures.


09.07. - 31.07
"RAKUPAKU -  s o u n d", exhibition-installation of the works completed during the workshop.  Organisers: Ingrid Allik, Monika Järg, Üla Koppel
attic hall of the museum

Rakupaku 2016The workshop of raku ceramics and textile provides opportunity for self-improvement for artists and designers. The 2016 workshop is already the fourth time, when artists and designers meet in Evald Okas Museum, in order to spend a week, studying and testing the possibilities of clay and raku firing, textile and block printing.
Clay as well as textile is a good material for leaving a trace – sensitive, flexible, enabling very different ways of treatment. The objective of the workshop is to provide to the participants experience of use and combination of various material technologies in the creative process.
Again, textile and clay are the main construction materials, but the main topic of the workshop is sound with anything related. The workshop is concentrated on the creative process, and local weather is a major co-author, because most part of the workshop takes place in the courtyard of the museum.
In addition to the people operating in the specialities of textile and ceramics in Estonia, also guests from abroad and artists of other fields will participate in the workshop. The result of the workshop will be the installation in the courtyard of Evald Okas Museum, completed in cooperation between the participants, and exhibition in the attic hall of the museum.


Exhibition of works by Haruko Katayama & Chikako Yokoyama
墨の架け橋 Sumi No Kakehashi - The Bridge of Sumi -

museum gallery

The Bridge of SumiIt was 2014 when Japanese contemporary artist Haruko Katayama found herself leading the "Fashion Drawing Workshop of the Estonian Association of Fashion Artists" that her fashion designer friend had suggested. One thing led to another, and Mari Roosvalt decided to invite Katayama to do an exhibition of her own.

This time Katayama is doing both an exhibition and a workshop based on work by her and another friend Chikako Yokohama. By the way, the two artists from Japan have nothing to do with fashion. They create contemporary art usually using various shades of grey. For this exhibition, they are exhibiting drawings using "sumi" (traditional Asian ink) on "washi" (traditional Japanese paper), along with other contemporary pieces. There will be a three- day workshop held during the exhibition dates.

Unlike European ink or paint, sumi which is supposed to be completely black will expose different "colors" depending on how it is used. Washi also is unique in the sense that they will move like living creatures by the drops of sumi.

Having been used by man for centuries, the chemistry between these two materials is amazingly exquisite. The artists especially feel that both the colors black and white have always been the origins of things. For them the art is magic.

For Katayama, her concept has always been to express her feeling of awe toward the cosmos that we all are swimming in. She uses almost anything to create art pieces big and small, sometimes in blue or brown. For this exhibition she ventures new methods such as by using pigments on washi.

Meanwhile, sumi paintings have formed the core of Yokoyama's art for the past 20 years. During the first 10 years, she devoted herself to traditional sumi paintings, but gradually shifted to abstract art. In recent years Yokohama has visited historical sites around the world in order to discover the trace of human race. She tries to express this trace in her drawings while thinking about the life and feelings of ancient or even primitive people. Strokes are her thing, and she freely allows her brush to take her to wherever it may lead to.

Hopefully the exhibition itself will lead us to an invisible "bridge" between cultures as varied as the multiple shades of sumi.

Sumi sild Sumi sild
Sumi sild Sumi sild
Photos by Arvo Tarmula


"Big Painting", curator Liisa Kaljula

museum gallery

The Great Painter (1971), legendary Estonian children`s book with Ellen Niit`s texts and Edgar Valter`s pictures was published at a time when artists were granted official permission to participate in moulding the society and the latter was gladly welcomed in Estonia by the new generation of pop artists who perceived Soviet environment as grey and humdrum. In this cult and much interpreted children`s book with which several generations of Estonians have grown up, humanity calls the artist to remould the world, as "once upon a time, my dear, when the world had just been created, everything was uncoloured. Everything was made as if of water and looked equally blank outside and inside. How to tell difference between tea and ink, juice and milk, glue and honey, when everything is uncoloured?"
In recent years, developments in young Estonian painting indicate once again that the auratic rectangular object created on easel is no longer enough to keep painting an up-to- date contemporary art medium. Several painters from the younger generation have taken up installative painting these years which is remarkable in size and often penetrates from two dimensional depiction into threedimensional space, adding to its arsenal photo, video, sound, ceramics and ready-made, or leaving messages to the cityscape. Perhaps artists of all times have secretly dreamt of covering the world with their images?
Laura Põld`s patterned canvases flow over rooftops of Yamanashi; Merike Estna travels with a painting from Sahara desert to Arctic glacier and Asian jungle; Anna Škodenko`s mysterious black studio is the extension of her mysterious self; Helmi Arrak`s paintings grow out of her bedroom`s milieu; Kristi Kongi is looking at the world through colorful blinds and mirrors; Mart Vainre explores a brush stroke in thousand times magnification; Mihkel Ilus turns abstract painting into an art with a human face; Marie Kõljalg invades the notice boards of the town with cryptic images; Uku Sepsivart makes interventions at the very heart of the exhibition.
Also shown in the exhibition are Edgar Valter`s original illustrations for The Great Painter, the vivid colors of which did not make it to the print-runs of the book at the time for technological reasons, but have beautifully preserved to this day in the watercolor originals.
The exhibition is curated by Liisa Kaljula and graphically designed by Helmi Arrak.
The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Many thanks to Kumu Art Museum that commissioned pieces for Merike Estna`s solo show Blue Lagoon (2014) and Tartu Art Museum that commissioned pieces for Laura Põld´s solo show Hundreds of Illusions Charted as Land (2016).
Thanks also to Art Museum of Estonia, Estonian Children`s Literature Centre, Raiko Jäärats, Kalmer Jäärats, Marelle Kalvik, Ahti Lill, Ats Nukki and Uve Untera.
The Great Painter will be opened in the first floor and in the attic gallery of Evald Okas Museum, as well as in the city space of Haapsalu, from 3 to 31 August.

Evald Okas Museum | Karja 24, 90503 Haapsalu, Estonia | eo.muuseum@gmail.com