In 2018, The Finnish Hunting Museum invited me to design an installation focusing on the old bear hunting rituals in Finland. I created the concept for OHTO, an artistic interpretation of the ancient Finnish bear cult.
I contacted a musician and ethnomusicologist Tuomas Rounakari, who had previously been creating performances based on the magical songs used in the bear hunting rituals. Together we created a script based on the spells of our ancient hunters and the folklore about rites in bear slay. It depicts a mythical world, where the human actions are guided by respect towards nature and its spirits.
I directed and photographed a video for the installation in the Iron age village of Sommelo, Helsinki. I also created charcoal drawn animations to depict the supernatural aspects connected to the spirit of the bear. Additional video editing and effects were done by SuperEclectic, a company working on video and media production. Here is a link to their webpage presenting the project:
The final 16-minute video is projected on a curved surface, inspired by the ancient Finnish conceptions about the dome of the sky. Tuomas created a soundtrack for the installation. The magical songs are performed by OHTONI, a group consisting of leading Finnish folk musicians.
The spatial design for the installation is inspired by the mythological character of Hongotar. She is the goddess of the pine tree, who is also the mother of the bear in Finnish folklore.