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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Arno Rafael Minkkinen 2006

4th Finglish trip September 2006 #9

Arno Rafael Minkkinen is an internationally renowned artist who merge his own body with light or the landscape in his self-portrait works. Minkkinen has taught at MIT in Boston, the Helsinki University of Art and Design and the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen was born in Helsinki in 1945. His father Reino was born in Japan in 1910 into a family of Finnish missionaries, and his mother Riitta was born in 1915 at Koivisto in Karelia. The young couple met in Viipuri and they were married in 1939.

The Minkkinens moved to America when Arno was six. They came in 1951 on the M/S Gripsholm from Göteborg to New York, where they settled in Brooklyn’s Finntown.

Just after we had climbed up the steep, wobbly gangplank to the upper deck of the M/S Gripsholm in Göteborg, my mother looked my father in the eye and asked, "How far is America?"

"Not far," he answered.

It was true, just one ocean to cross. But my father could have come closer to the truth had he realized just how difficult and precarious a world he was laying out for us, how distant her beloved Tiurinsaari forests would be from the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Homework - Suomen kuvat, LIKE 2008

Next Canterbury Connecticut USA

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