Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Xmas!

I want to wish all my friends, collaborators and readers relaxing and joyful Christmas Season and all the success for the upcoming year 2009!

More posts after the holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Innovations =)

You know those mornings that you just NEED to have your coffee? -Nothing seems to work or to be right until you've reached the point, where you have that hot mug in your hands and can gently take the first sip of it's foamy contents?

Yeah, so it goes sometimes. And sometimes it just gets bit difficult to get there, hmm. Like in the possible scenario, that you equipment just don't fit together? Hå? What's that then, what to do? Like this it was in Bern, in the guest apartment of Theater Schlachthaus. There was plenty of coffee and I had remembered to bring the milk. Pot was on the kitchen table and I happily filled it and....

Pot was too small for the stove. Jihaa, we have a winner!! So, of this realisation followed frenzied search through the content of that kitchen and below you see the imaginative solution to the present problem:

New adaptations of the appliances.

And finally it's brewing!

And my Finnish speaking friends might find the cup amusing with additional "L", at least I did, when I finally had my coffee in it =)

Hong Kong Picture parade

I visited briefly Hong Kong in the end of November. We had two performances of HerStay's "Past is Simulation..." on a Ibsen Conference organized by Hong Kong Open University. Our shows took place in On&On Theatre in Cattle Depot Village in To Kwan Wan area on Kowloon Peninsula.

Cattle Depot is an interesting place. It's low-built red-brick facades look somewhat out of place surrounded with oldish apartment buildings and newer high-rises nearby. Nonetheless, it makes you feel sort of "homey". This place used to be a compound for live-stock and all the local butchers used to come to pick up the animals from here. Nowadays it's a sort of refuge for various art-projects and houses also a museum.

Cattle Depot

On&On Theatre

One of the things I was really looking forward going to HK, was to meet my friend Twinsen. Twinsen was an exchange student on my department in Theater Academy and rented a room in our apartment at the time. This was some three or four years ago and I hadn't seen him since.

Today Twinsen is busy and well-established light designer for Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Chanel etc. on Asia-Pacific area and had only very briefly time to meet me before flying out in Melbourne to open yet another shop there.

We had a very nice evening in Mong Kok, where Twinsen introduced me to the regional vibes, traditional eating-out with noodle-soup, best ice-cream in town and some other specialities. but all in all, the best thing was to have a chance to catch up with him! Thanks Twinsen, I really enjoyed it! Come to Switzerland soon, and I'll return the favor, as I promised!

Twinsen and I in Mong Kok,
-in the middle of the street, actually.

Very traditional chinese noodle-soup with fishballs and mushrooms.

Yet another fishball, a spicy speciality,
-allegedly my dear friend Anna's favorite
-So this one's especially for you girl!!! =)

I had only two days to explore Hong Kong after our shows, so I really saw only a fraction of it. I spend quite a lot of time in Mong Kok area in Kowloon, since our hotel was on Waterloo Road very close by. I like the general atmosphere there really much, but next time I would try to avoid it during weekend-time, when it gets hopelessly too crowded.

Of course I went also to the actual Hong Kong island to check it out. There it looks literally as fancy as in the Dark Knight movie, especially in the night time. The glimmering and shiny high-rises are something that you don't see everyday here in the west. Whoaa. Somehow very much more urbal and "Bladerunner" than in Bangkok or Tokyo. Perhaps, because of the fact that it all seems to be jam-packed in relatively small area. (Of course, the 7 billion people city is much more than just the Central, but it just makes you feel small due to the density of buildings there.)

Central in the evening

Central by nite.

Central from the piers.

On the daytime I wanted to go up to the Peak to have an overview of the city. Good idea, since the day I chose was not so foggy. The little tram that pulls you up there was packed with other tourist like me, but luckily most of them darted to the viewing terrace in the shopping mall as soon as the tram reached the hilltop-station. (There is relatively sizeable shopping mall up there too, since everywhere it needs to be one...)

Some of the cityscape from the Peak point-of-view.

Unlike the most of the tourists, I went out and started to walk around the peak. It's quite amazing up there. Unbelievably green. And you can still hear all the noise and traffic from the city below, but somehow it seems to be very much farther away, somehow muffled. Instead the main input is the singing of the birds the trees.

Greenery at the Peak.

After the Peak experience, I went to Causeway Bay hoping to do some shopping. But in my opinion, HK just isn't my place to shop. Local fashion isn't my style and generally the stuff is expensive too. But I wasn't that disappointed, since shopping wasn't my main target in HK anyway. I enjoyed enormously just to be in a big metropole once again and sniff in all the smells and vibes of Asia. Suck in some of the local lifestyle. Gosh, how I had missed all that!

Somewhere in Causeway Bay.

Going really local: foodmarket at Causeway Bay.


The logical turn-out for the evening was to return to Monk Kok. There is loads of good restaurants for all the tastes you can imagine -and, if you're still in the mood for shopping, the stores are open until nine or so. We found quite a bunch of good choices for eating out there. And following the rule, -go where the locals are and ask the waiter what he would himself choose, didn't fail me this time either.

And yes, one of the nights I did the Lan Kwai Fong too =)

Mong Kok, Kowloon.

Late dinner on the boardwalk on Soy Street, Beata, Andrea and Maria.

So, on the bottom-line: one week is wayyyyys too short time to even try to get a grip of it all. There would have been so many things to do and see, but that just gives one a reason to go back for more later on, right?

All in all, this time was a all right, especially also for the fact, that for the return flight we got upgraded to the middle class instead of having to fly cramped in the normal economy. Ah, that leg-space!!!

This is just something I found amusing at 7.00 in the morning at London Heatrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


After long recess, I have finally managed to update my website. There you'll find some new photos of the recent productions and also some funny video-stuff in the miscellaneous section.

Future looks interesting at the moment.

I'm working currently with a group called bigNOTWENDIKEIT on a project called "Kill your Darlings" which is going to open in the beginning of December in Fabrik Theater, Rote Fabrik, Zürich. Shortly, it's a performance for two actresses on the theme of all kinds of beloved ideas, that never fit anywhere before, wasting things and necessities, etc. I'm very curious how it'll turn out to be and how my darlings will fit in, if at all.

Another cool thing that awaits in the future is "Past is Simulation"-gig for the norwegian HerStay-company in Hong Kong. I should go there in less than three weeks. I'm excited, since I've never been in HK before.

Just before Christmas I will also make a short trip to Finland. I'm going to check out the rehearsals for the new Raatikko-production (and also tend to my dental appointment aughh =# ...)

So, I'll write more about how the things evolve and turn out to be when the time is right. Stay tuned, my friends =)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Elli-velli Karamelli

In September I worked for a new project in Espoo, Finland.

I had been invited by the director Anne Rautiainen, to participate in the production of a puppet theater play in Nukketeatteri Hevosenkenkä. The play is called "Elli-velli Karamelli" and it's based on a story by Kaarina Helakisa, one of the most beloved Finnish childrenbook authors.

In the play we meet little girl called Elli whose best friend is her dog called Heppu. Elli and Heppu live in a big city and have their own special climbing-tree.

Everyday live gets disturbed when factory-owner Herra Hattu, "Mr. Hat", wants to enlarge his factory and therefore climbing-tree would need to be cut down.

But the resourceful little girl wont just take it, but they decide to protest Mr. Hat's undertakings. M'r Hat calls for the fight and engages his factories to produce so much stuff that the children woulnd't even remember trees anymore. But the factories go haywire and out of control and everything gets so polluted that even Mr' Hat don't want it anymore.

Elli and Heppu call out for help and eventually birds from the forest bring them flowers and seeds which help to clean out the city of all the Mr. Hat's pollution and technology. Defeated Mr. Hat flees to faraway lands forgetting to chop down the tree and the citizens of Elli's hometown promise to take better care of the city from now on.

This production was very nice to work with and I was also happy about the new people I got to know through it. The structures and surfaces of Sattva-Hanna Toiviainen's set-design were very organic and inspiring and the puppets by Laura Poranen so natural and expressionful that the whole story just came alive in front of one's very eyes. The actors also sort of blended together with their characters, so the end-product was quite entertaining to even the youngest of the audience, 3-year-olds.

I owe a huge thanks for collaboration also to the technical staff of Hevosenkenkä theater, Anna, Dan and Fanni, who are amazing personalities and resourceful beond your wildest dreams. i sincerely hope I get the chance to work with these guys again in the future!

Sommerferie in Finnland

In the beginning of July I had two-week holiday in Finland with my boyfriend Mitch and Numa, his 15-year-old son. This was the first real freetime in Finland for both of them, so I wanted to show something characteristically Finnish to the boys.

After couple of days in Helsinki we headed to Eastern Finland, to Juva and Savonlinna in Savo region. There we visited my dear friend Joel, who's got a real pretty farm over there. Landscapes are unbelievably rural with strolling cows on the meadows and high blue sky and glistening lakes.

Some of Joel's girls

Joel also has got two saunas by the lake and it was really eccentric experience for the boys to try out the steams of traditional "savu-sauna" -smokesauna. Smokesauna is totally different experience compared to normal one, since the heat is very gentle and moist due to the long heating process during which the smoke actually heats up the sauna room.

The traditional savu-sauna.

By the lake.

I was very happy about our visit to Savonlinna since I had the chance to meet one of my best friends, Anna, who had just arrived from Hong Kong after having spent there nearly a year. We also popped into Olavinlinna, castle in Savonlinna, where I used to work for the Opera Festival for several summers. There we met my old workmates who are still doing the festival.

From Savo we drove back to Southern Finland to visit my friends in Hämeenlinna, Riihimäki and Tampere. All in all the holiday was about the Finnish mentality and frame of mind, landscapes and open water, and various different kinds of sauna and general relaxing...

Setting sun over Vanajavesi, in Hattula county.

Swiss and Finnish.

Graduation at Theatre Academy

I finally got it done!! I got my Masters degree on light design from the Theatre academy of Finland after six years of on-and-off studies.

I could have had it done ways earlier, but I've been busy working, so studies haven't been my major priority. But better late than never.

Here we all are, the graduates of 2008.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I'm on summer-vacation, so more posts will appear bit later. Happy holidays for everybody!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Finland and Rainbow 01.06.08

O je, it was time to get back to Finland again. -This time mainly because of my graduation from Theater Academy, but there was other reasons too.

I was strolling by the lake the other day and I realised that it's been nearly exactly two years since I took this same picture for my closing chapter for my Asian blog. This time the return was only different, only for a short while. So much has happened in my life since that entry in June 2006. Little did I know what life would bring! But I'm happy that it has turned out this way!
Remake of the old photo, looks pretty much the same.

Idyllic scenery.

Early summer is really blooming in Parola.

Okay, back to reality and present day... One of the other reasons to come to Finland just now was "Sateenkaari 2008" -the Rainbow Party in Riihimäki, organised by my very dear friend Pikku-Markku. I guess everybody knows what a "rainbow party" is about -if not, lets say, it's about tolerance and open-mindedness originally promoted by gay-people. This time the theme was not so strong or pushed, it was more like just one Sunday afternoon, when people can come together and spend some time conversating with each other and enjoying various performances on stage. There was approximately 180 people altogether and everybody, both old and young, seemed to really catch the mood and the idea.

Local florist sponsored the event with loads of roses,
-some of them dyed to the theme.

Some of the audience.

Dragqueen 2007 Nicola delivering a killer act!!

Energetic singer Anita Hirvonen making the audience go wild.

In the end there was some dance music by the band "La Strada".
And Pikku-Markku and Saara really spinning it.

Vienna and Berlin 10.-19.05.08

I decided to tag along when Mitch needed to go for work to Vienna and Berlin. He was supposed to load and drive two trucks with containers from Austria to Germany fro Markthaler project "Platzmangel". I have never really been to Austria before, just driving through.

Mitch had lousy night-shift for dismantling and loading the set to containers, so he pretty much slept the following day and I went to explore Vienna on my own. First I decided to go see this church near Museum Quartier, which had triggered my interest the day before.

Square Karlsplatz / Karlskirche

Schloss Shönbrunn

Since it was such a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, I continued my journey to Schloss Shönbrunn, the palace I got to know already in my childhood from the New Year's Concert programs. I had heard that the gardens are really worth visiting. The palace itself didn't interest me so much, but the gardens really delivered what was promised. Everything was blossoming and blooming and colors were so fresh. The only downfall of this was that there was lots of other enthusiasts on the same mission as I.

Sign suggests that you shouln't go under the old trees in stormy weather.
One of the many statues of the gardens.

Fairly exotic duck on one of the fountains.

And cute ducklings, o springtime!

Corridor of vines.
In the evening we went together to Prater, the old amusement park of Vienna. we managed to spend there quite some time admiring all the gadgets. There was lots of new blinky and sparkly new stuff, but also many old-fashioned attractions. Some of the scenes were fairly kitschy, but in a way cute too.
Rainbow-wall of children's attraction.

Old rides.

Very old wooden slide-thing, now under renovation.

Some of the decorations were designed in a relatively "not just for kids"-way. Like this damsell in distress on the wall of one of the spooky ghost trains.
Save the lady?
After just one day off, we headed towards Prague and Berlin with the first truck. On our way there it was amazing to see all the fields blazing yellow with turnip rape -something that you expect to see in Finland only after midsummer, two months later.
Surprising to me was also the realisation that I had missed the lakes so much! In Switzerland there is not so much open water as I'm used to in Finland and when I saw the sunlight dancing on the waves somewhere in southern Czech, it just hit me.
Cinderella castle not so far from Danube Island, Vienna.
A snapshot from the truck-window.

Somewhere in Southern Czech.
I had an excellent week in Berlin. Mitch was again working for the most of the time, so I had perfect chance to meet my friends in the city. this was my second time there and I realised that I probaly know as many people over there by now as I do in Helsinki. Cool, I think that if I was to move in another city, it could easilly be Berlin. Kreuzberg suits my character....
I met my friend Rahel over dinner, Julia and Johanna to go to see a play "The next level Parzival" by Theater Basel in Hau 2. With J+J I also did some bar-hopping and checking out the city in general. Great! I have to get to Berlin soon again.
With Mitch we went to check out some fleamarkets and invested way too much money on old lp's.
Weather was also still pretty okay, so I also spent quite some time just hanging out by the channel in Kreuzberg, catching the sun and reading my book (the Swarm by Frank Schatzing). It's quite lively over there, lots of people doing exactly the same hanging out as I was, some Spaniards playing guitars and flutes, swans grooming themselves less than two meters away. Easy going atmosphere.
I dig Berlin!!!