Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Kustaa Saksi (b. 1975, Kouvola, Finland) builds worlds of playful, paradoxical and troubling yet inviting shapes and environments pulled out of the ordinary. Combining organic qualities with uniquely detailed textures with rich colour palettes and experimental material use, Saksi is creating contemporary spaces, objects and atmospheres. His abstracted Hypnopompic tapestry series sits somewhere between the states of dreaming and awakening – surrealist and sensational. First Symptoms collection draws its inspiration and texture from the scientific examination and personal experience of migraine.
His work is often surreal and out of place. Saksi is fascinated by illusory states and visual delusions – usually pattern-based, kaleidoscopic, identical structures sometimes flickering, forming and reforming all over the visual field – common in migraine auras for most sufferers. Often geometric structures cover the whole visual field: checkerboards, transparent oriental rugs, tribal patterns, ornamental spherical objets d’art like radiolaria or bacteria, repeating wallpaper designs, spiderweb-like figures or concentric circles and squares, architectural forms or decorative paper-cut snowflakes, mosaics, spirals and swirls.
Saksi has spent the past seven years at TextielLab under Het Nederlandse Textielmuseum in Tilburg, The Netherlands, where he has been developing weaving techniques, experimenting with materials and finding his own unique weaving processes that he describes as “action-painting with warp and weft”. Using a traditional Jacquard weaving technique, Saksi combines natural fibres such as mohair, alpaca, cotton and wool with rubber, metal, acrylic and phosphorescent yarns to create complex digital to analog textures. Jacquard weaving technique is named after the French inventor, Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752–1834), who designed the jacquard loom. With Jacquard’s automatic loom, it was possible to weave complex mechanically patterned silk fabrics. The technology was revolutionary in the textile manufacturing industry around the world.
Saksi’s works have been exhibited at Victoria & Albert Museum, Cooper Hewitt Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, TextielMuseum, Design Museum Helsinki, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Kunsthall Stavanger and Helsinki Kunsthall. He has held solo exhibitions at galleries in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Taipei, Madrid, Brussels, Helsinki and Amsterdam. His work is represented in the collections of museums and private collectors throughout the world. Saksi has done commissioned works for Nike, Issey Miyake, Ferragamo, Bergdorf Goodman and Marimekko, and commissioned editions for Royal Academy of Arts and Victoria & Albert Museum.