Frequently Asked Questions

Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Niina Vatanen

The Museum Visit

Where should I place the admission sticker?
Somewhere visible. It is important that the museum attendants can see it easily. Most people put the sticker on their lapels, but it is not unusual to see it on foreheads, cheeks and arms.

Can I take photographs or video?
Filming for private use is allowed. For all other purposes, you need a filming permit from the Kiasma Communications Department, kiaviesti@kiasma.fi.

Can I draw in the museum?
Kiasma encourages visitors to sketch and draw. You can borrow a drawing board for free from the cloakroom.

Do I have to check my coat into the cloakroom?
Heavy or wet coats must be left in the cloakroom, otherwise coats and jackets are allowed in the galleries.

Why is it forbidden to take a backpack into the galleries?
For safety reasons. There is a danger that the bag would damage the artworks by accidentally touching or hitting against them when you turn. It is the job of Kiasma staff to ensure that works in the exhibition are not damaged.

Is there a cloakroom fee?
No, the cloakroom service is free.

Exhibitions And Operations

Why doesn’t Kiasma have a permanent collection exhibition?
The basic functions of Kiasma are to organise exhibitions and augment its collection, along with research and presentation of the works. The museum’s collections are presented to the public in changing exhibitions.

How is contemporary art defined in Kiasma?
Kiasma’s basic operations cover all art phenomena from the 1960s to the present. Works bought for the collection are therefore all by artists who began exhibiting in 1960 or later. This also means that Kiasma is a museum of contemporary, not modern art. The presentation of modern art is delegated to the Ateneum Art Museum.

Why are there so few paintings in Kiasma?
The range of media used in contemporary art is very wide. In addition to paintings, the exhibitions also include media art and installations.

How many works are there in Kiasma’s collections?
There are more than 8500 works in the collections.

Who decides which works are acquired for Kiasma’s collection?
Purchase decisions are made by the acquisitions committee, whose members include representatives of artists’ and critics’ organisations, in addition to professionals from Kiasma. There are different acquisition criteria, such as the significance of the work, the artist or the phenomenon for the Finnish art scene or its contribution to the development of art in general.

Kiasma Theatre

What is contemporary theatre?
Contemporary theatre is mostly just drama. What distinguishes it from traditional dramatic theatre is that contemporary theatre searches for new forms. You could say that contemporary theatre is above all a constant attempt to redefine the boundaries of theatre. The concept of contemporary theatre has been used as an umbrella term for all kinds of performances and styles, but performance art is in part replacing it. Performance art can also be considered one of the forms or subordinate genres of contemporary theatre.

Why is there so much nudity in contemporary theatre?
The body and related issues are an important component of contemporary theatre, which is probably one reason why performers appear naked in some productions. On the other hand, there are as many answers as there are performances – each production has its own reasons.

The Building And Its Architecture

When was Kiasma opened?
Kiasma was opened on 30 May 1998.

Who designed Kiasma?
Kiasma was designed by the American architect Steven Holl.

What was the cost of building Kiasma?
About 38 million euro.

What does the word “Kiasma” mean?
Kiasma is the Finnish for chiasma, a term that describes the crossing of nerves or tendons or the intertwining of two chromatids.

Who owns Kiasma?
Kiasma is part of the Finnish National Gallery.

Why was Kiasma not designed by a Finnish architect?
A design competition was launched in 1992 for the Museum of Contemporary Art. The competition was open to architects in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Entries were also invited from five internationally acclaimed architects. In 1993, Chiasma by the American architect Steven Holl was chosen as the winner from among the 516 submitted entries. All competition entries were judged anonymously, so the jury did not know the nationalities of the architects.

Miscellaneous

Why do I have to pay full admission price although part of the museum is closed?
All exhibitions in Kiasma are changing, and it is quite common for some galleries to be closed during exhibition changeover. There is a lot to see and experience even in a single exhibition, and the building itself is a major architectural landmark. If several floors are closed to the public at the same time, a discount is given from the normal admission ticket.

Where does the Ikea bus leave from?
The bus to Ikea in Espoo leaves from the bus stop on Mannerheimintie street just outside Kiasma, about 65 steps from the museum entrance. The bus has room for 60 passengers. The bus to the Ikea store in Vantaa leaves from the Hakaniementori square.

Why is the previous question in the FAQ?
The location of the Ikea bus stop is one of the commonest non-Kiasma related questions that people ask at the information desk.