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I almost became a football player but, while biking to a practice one day, I lost my football boots and decided to become an artist. I entered the Department of Ceramic and Glass at the University of Art & Design Helsinki and was thereafter captivated by the three-dimensional possibilities of clay. Since I was a small boy I was able to transfer materials into a variety of forms. While other children were building snowmen, I sculpted a snowy Donald Duck.

In my sculptures I combine innocence with odd agenda. The ceramic figures have usually taken the form of children or animals. The moss people are figures from my fairytale world. They are forest children who are frozen in the middle of the story and moss has started to grow on them.

One of my studios is located at the Art Department of an old ceramic factory in Helsinki. I often place my sculptures in this old and raw industrial environment for pictures. Othertimes they are photographed in the nature, as they become the landscape itself.

Kim Simonsson’s sculptures are like three-dimensional stills from anime films. His works offer us a stage set into which viewers can enter. The situation is open and the narrative is often left to the viewers’ imaginations. The story is frequently set in an urban street-scene or science fantasy. He uses powerful images from which allusions open out into broadly-speaking different genres of visual culture. These basic images include the greyhound-like brutes of the Überhund series, the heads of discarded dolls, and figures of children: the girl and boy playing their Bob the Builder game to the theme of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the games played by Simonsson’s figures innocence has to step aside.

Simonsson’s works make it easy to go along with Jacques Lacan’s idea that the gaze comes or is focused from outside the individual. The gaze is not, in fact, a question of the subject’s perspectival control over its surroundings. The gaze actually constitutes the unexpected element that invokes fear. In Simonsson’s works specifically the cultural references and genres that he has ingeniously incorporated into his works can be thought of as a screen that acts as a shield against the evil gaze. The viewer can use them, as though with the aid of a mirror, to repulse the dreadfulness that the figures bring with them, and thus make them approachable.

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Exposed Work

Kim Simonsson

Kim Simonsson (born in Finland 1974) graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinki in 2000. After graduation he lived in Canada for three years before returning to Finland in 2004, when he was awarded the Young Artist of the Year prize. In the same year he was invited to work for the Arabia Art Department Society. Kim Simonsson also works in his home studio located in the Fiskars Village. He has displayed his works in private exhibitions all over the world, in cities such as New York, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.