Kiasma Acquisition Policy

Contemporary art is created and displayed in a context characterised by interaction between local and global culture. Finnish contemporary art, too, has become an important part of the international scene of contemporary art. Kiasma Collections are currently developed by acquiring interesting works of contemporary art of outstanding quality, regardless of national or geographic boundaries and yet with an underlying focus on art from nearby regions. Most of the works by foreign artists in the collections are purchased from Kiasma’s own exhibitions.

Kiasma’s mission is to collect current contemporary art that reflects the times as broadly as possible. Important factors that determine acquisition are an understanding of the times, fearless vision and sensitivity to phenomena. The acquisition of older works to complement the collection can also be considered, such as in the case of thematic exhibitions or important individual works of art.

Acquisition is not dictated by divisions of art into genres or media. In addition to paintings, sculptures, photographs and prints, acquisitions for Kiasma Collections also include media art, such as film, video, audio and computer art, including web-based and online works of art. Kiasma has the largest collection of media art in Finland, which totals about 400 works. Works that employ digital technology pose new challenges to the collections, as they require new methods of storage, maintenance, conservation and presentation, as well as continual development of contractual practices.

Contemporary art is understood, interpreted and defined largely as a part of visual culture. Acquisition therefore also covers works that occupy a position between contemporary art and popular culture, as well as ephemeral artworks and their documentation, such as performance documentations, community art projects, earth art and environmental art. Works that can only be stored as conceptual designs, ideas or plans may also be acquired.