On the 15th of June, the Juminekeko Center celebrated the opening of the 2021 summer exhibition. The artist behind this Lore (Taru) exhibition is Mercedeh Mohseni, an artist and translator from Persia.

Mercedeh Khadivar Mohseni was born in Teheran, and she studied graphic design at the local university. In addition to working in the field of graphic design, Mohseni has built herself a career in art and translation. Together with her husband Amir-Yar-Ahmad, she has translated Finland`s national epic, the Kalevala, into Farsi (Gandom publications, 1999). Their other translations include Tove Jansson`s Moomin-books.

Mercedeh Mohseni and Mahmoud Amir-Yar-Ahmad as translators of the Kalevala epic

Mohseni`s ja Amir-Yar-Ahmad`s translation of the Kalevala is a close adaptation of the original epic, and the translation has been written in the trochaic meter used by the epic`s writer, Elias Lönnrot. During their background research they familiarized thjemselves diligently with both Finnish and Karelian literature. To their surprise, every Finnish word had a Farsian equivalent.

Mercedeh Mohseni finds her inspiration in mythology, history and old folklore. When she lived in Helsinki, Mohseni continued her studies by reading art history st the local university. To her, the Kalevala is first and foremost a tragicomic story. According to Mohseni, the heroes of the epic are diverse characters that speak to the reader, and that makes it nice to dive into their adventures. She sees a lot of common things between Lönnrot`s work and the writer of the Persian national epic Shahnameh, Ferdows.

Welcome to the 2021 summer exhibition

The artwork displayed by the Lore (Taru) summer exhibition are Mohseni`s illustrations for her and her husband`s translation of the Kalevala epic. The paintings have been created digitaly, and they illustrate the tales and heroes if the Finnish national epic. In addition to the adventurous, striking heroes, some of these paintings also display their worrying mothers. Persian influences can be sen in the paintings, and Mercedeh Mohseni`s works include many captivating details. The Juminkeko Center warmly welcomes visitors to enjoy Lore (Taru), the 2021 summer exhibition!

In the morning of the opening day, our project coordinator had a chance to interview Mercedeh about her career, influences and her relationship with the Kalevala epic.

When you get to the end of the video, you can hear her reading the Kalevala in Farsi. The video also reveals what, in Mercedeh`s opinion, a modern day reader can learn from the Kalevala epic.

Juminkeko Center`s summer exhibition is open until the 1st of October 2021 – warmest welcome to come and enjoy the art! The entry fee is 5 € for adults, and 3 € for students and pensioners. Children can come to Juminkeko for free.Lapset pääsevät Juminkekoon ilmaiseksi.

From https://www.juminkeko.fi you`ll find more information about the Juminkeko Center`s exhibitions, events, and the history of the Kalevala epic.