Built in a huge old underground bus station, Helsinki’s newest museum Amos Rex is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Take what you thought you knew about art museums and throw it into a time machine, it’s getting a 21st-century makeover.
The museum is basically a bunch of black rooms separated into different exhibits of artwork, but the art is projected onto the walls. In one exhibit, it’s a magical, calming video of waves crashing. The background music is extremely soothing and you can stare for hours at the shades of blue on the walls.
In another exhibit, the walls and floor are covered in strange creatures resembling crocodiles, birds, geckos… but they’re colored in the strangest patterns. You’re invited into a room to color in your own stencil of one of these animals with crayons, and then the next thing you know, your own design is projected on the walls. Unfortunately, our beautifully, carefully drawn bird (AKA haphazardly rushed) was quickly eaten by a crocodile before we got a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Can you spot the little green-red-blue bird with H & G
written on it, and a green heart on a yellow tail?
To make things even more interactive, the walls would slowly turn black in the corners or areas where people didn’t venture as often. But when you walk on the floor there, or touch the wall, flowers and lights of every color would trace your hands and feet.
In another, vast room, the projections on the wall seemed to be being sucked into a black hole. This room was very trippy, and Henrik and I needed to lay down on our backs, staring at the ceiling for about 15 minutes before we could move on.
Watch the video I made of random clips to truly get a sense of the interactiveness of Amos Rex:
The outside (or top, I should say) of the museum is pretty unassuming if you don’t know what it is. Our first day in Helsinki, we walked right past it without realizing that these giant cone-like shapes coming out of the ground were actually windows into the famous museum that had been intriguing local Helskini-ans and tourists alike.
I think that Amos Rex is the first of a new type of contemporary art museum, one that inspires creativity in us and has something for everyone.