Map of Finland
The main element of the painting is the inscription “Sisu”. This Finnish word is untranslatable, nevertheless it still encapsulates the essence of Finland. Sisu is at the core of Finnish society, which is a fusion of perseverance, resilience and optimism. For this reason, the author chooses to write the word with a “flaming” colour, highlighting it with the cool tones from the background; alluding to the harsh Finnish winter, with ice-covered lakes, where Finns seem to have engraved their identity, despite the oppressive red and yellow lines along the edges of the picture. The lines symbolize their hegemonic neighbours: the yellow line represents Sweden, while the red one represents Russia (Russian Empire, USSR), which also tries to move towards the center, ‘greedily’ grasping for space, forming bloody smudges along the way. Perhaps, Finnish perseverance was born from the need to survive among such neighbours? The author gives us the opportunity to answer this question ourselves.

The inscription denoting the area of the drawn country, presented in every painting from the concept “Maps of the Happiest Countries” serves as a sort of a signature. It is specifically done to raise this question: How important is the element of the territory in the 21st century? The area of Finland is 338,462 square kilometers.

Through this work, the author aims to convey that behind any happiness lies perseverance and persistence.
Map of Finland, 2023
100 x 80 cm
oil on canvas