14 Mar 2021


Supporting Curators 2021

HIAP is happy to introduce the Supporting Curators of the year 2021!

Spring season (March-May): Pontus Kyander
Summer season (June-August): Elham Rahmati & Vidha Saumya
Autumn season (September-November): Otto Byström

Pontus Kyander has an extensive career as a curator and art critic, and is currently preparing two large scale exhibitions (for Amox Rex in Helsinki + a touring exhibition). Elham Rahmati & Vidha Saumya are artists/curators who have just launched a new online magazine titled NO NIIN. Otto Byström is an artist/organiser known for his work with the experimental artist-run space called Sorbus. More info on the HIAP website, link in bio!

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Pontus Kyander is a Helsinki based curator, art critic and writer. He holds a BA in comparative literature and a fil lic in Art History from Lund University in Sweden. He was the public art manager in Auckland City New Zealand 2008-2009 and a museum director in Norway 2010-2014 (SKMU and Trondheim kunstmuseum). He has worked internationally as a freelance curator since 1998, curating exhibitions at Lund konsthall, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, CAC Torun, Kunsthall Oslo & Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, MUSAC in León, Caixa Galicia in Santiago de Compostela, Århus Kunstbygning, 1a Art Space in Hong Kong, Kukje Gallery in Seoul, public interventions in Ho Chi Minh City, and the art festivals Living Room 09 and 10 in Auckland New Zealand and EMAF media art festivals in Seoul South Korea twice. Museum exhibitions included, he has curated more than 80 public and mostly institutional exhibitions. He considers the exhibitions Act or Perish. Gustav Metzger a retrospective (traveling in Europe 2014-16) and From Dust to Dusk (Charlottenborg 2003) his most important exhibitions to date. He is currently the co-curator of Diversity United, a grand European manifestation traveling Berlin Tempelhof, Tretyakov National Gallery in Moscow and other locations (TBC) 2021-22; and curator of a large scale exhibition for Amos Rex, Helsinki March-August 2022.

Elham Rahmati (b. 1989, Tehran) is a visual artist and curator based in Helsinki. She holds an MA of Visual Arts from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze and has also pursued an MA of Visual Culture, curating & Contemporary Art from Aalto University. Her work is based on the fields of drawing, installation and video art and has been exhibited in Germany, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, etc. In 2019-2020, she worked as the curator and producer of Academy of Moving People & Images – a film academy in Helsinki for mobile people. She is the co-founder and co-editor of NO NIIN – an online monthly magazine in Finland. Photo: Mina Keykhaei

Vidha Saumya (b. 1984, Patna) is a Helsinki based Artist-Poet whose body of works – drawings, murals, books, poems, sculptures, embroidered textiles, videos, and digital artefacts – are wry and warm in their politics and kaleidoscopic in their aesthetics. The concept of Heimat / (Home)land is at the core of her praxis. She is the co-founder and co-editor of NO NIIN – an online monthly magazine in Finland, and a founding member of the Museum of Impossible Forms – a cultural para-institution in Kontula, Finland. She holds a MA from the Aalto University; a BFA from the Sir J. J. School of Art; and a Diploma from the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Photo: Aman Askarizad.

Coming from a working class subcultural background, Otto Byström has been working in the contemporary art field as a multidisciplinary artist and organizer for over a decade. Prior to this Otto was contributing to the DIY alternative music field in Finland and continues to be involved with various self-organised projects and practices. He completed an MFA at Kuvataideakatemia in 2020. Otto’s role as an organizer in contemporary art began by co-running an artist-run space called Sorbus in Helsinki 2013 and thus became involved in organizing and facilitating a large number of exhibitions, as well as a variety of other art events and collaborative projects. More recently, Otto has been focusing on an independent study on the social class experience as an inspirer for creative expression as well as the shaper of contemporary art world discourses and structures.