REIMA HONKASALO is a multidisciplinary artist and designer working with contemporary art, product design, graphic design, puppetry, interior design etc. His areas of study include graphic design, puppetry, folklore, art history, product design and media – and he has a master´s degree in Nordic Folklore.
Environmental issues and sustainability are central values to Honkasalo´s work.
Reima Honkasalo (born 1963) began his journey into art at age 12 by going to art classes at his local community college. The age limit was 16, but after brief negotiations with the teacher he was able to attend despite his young age. The classes were on pencil and charcoal drawing as well as oilpainting.
In his early thirties, his work went through a transition during which he began experimenting with parting with the two dimensionality of traditional oilpainting. He started adding fabric and other materials to his paintings to bring them out of the canvas. This brought his work from painting more toward sculpture, yet without fully leaving painting techniques behind, which he still uses in his work.
At present, his work moves somewhere between assemblage, installation, sculpture and painting. His means of expression could be described as a mixture of abstract symbolism and socially critical realism. His work explores faith, personal experience and a critique of modern society. The underlying themes deal with things shared by all people – the search for one’s place in society and mission in life as well as the meaning of life itself.
The materials used and their symbolic meaning plays a central part in his present work. The nature of different materials such as weather worn wood, plastic, bread, rusted metal or silicone all cause different associations and mental images. By making use of a dialogue of materials and their meanings, he is able to convey the feelings felt both in a fleeting moment or during years of deep consideration.