Inka Pohjonen

EARS on trends: Endorsements, Virtual reality and Millenials

In Asia urbanization and the growing online population are driving the demand for culture and entertainment and generating new innovation. But what are the trends emerging in the market and affecting the creative economy? Folks, it’s time to put your EARS glasses on and take a look.


In this jet age of modern marketing communication, people tend to ignore all commercials and advertisements while flipping through magazines and newspapers or viewing TV. Still the glamour of a celebrity seldom goes unnoticed. Celebrity endorsement is a way to partner up mixing different fields and products such as music and fashion to reach wider audiences.

EARS on Helsinki 2015 seeks answers to these questions on brand and celebrity endorsements: How do the partnership look like in Asia? How do pop stars utilize fashion? How do fashion brands spread their message through endorsements? How does it compare with the practices in the West?


Virtual reality technology is about to break into the consumer realm in the very near future. VR can be referred to as computer-simulated life, in other words, an environment that simulates physical presence in places in the real world and lets the user interact in that world. Virtual reality artificially creates sensory experiences, which can include sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. VR headsets are moving fast into the consumer market and present a new challenge but also opportunities for media, and the whole creative industry.

EARS on Helsinki 2015 seeks answers to these questions on virtual reality: What are the opportunities and challenges presented for media companies and creative industry professionals? What kind of content should be produced for virtual reality? What will be the popular use for VR?


A different world, a different worldview. Millennials have grown up with rapid change, resulting in a different set of priorities and expectations owned by the previous generations. Especially the retail space has been reshaped by millennials’ affinity for technology. With on-the-go product information, peer reviews and price comparisons at their fingertips, Millennials turn to brands that offer just what they need at that exact moment. With drastic economic growth and impact of social media, the generation gap is even wider in Asia than in Europe.

EARS on Helsinki 2015 seeks answers to these questions on millenials: What are the generation of millenials interested in? Do the interests in Asia differ from the West? How does online content affect millenials’ consuming habits?


EARS on trends is an article series presenting the latest developments from Asia’s creative industries. A deeper dive into the trends will be taken at the next EARS event

EARS on trends: Niche content, Social soundtrack and the Venue Boom

In Asia urbanization and the growing online population are driving the demand for culture and entertainment and generating new innovation. But what are the trends emerging in the market and affecting the creative economy? Folks, it’s time to put your EARS glasses on and take a look.


Making local, non-English language feature film content travel in the international marketplace remains a constant challenge in all corners of the globe. Genre cinema is the rare exception in the landscape. Fantasy, science fiction, horror and action films might often be perceived as niche product on their domestic turf. Yet the genre product has a loyal and global fanbase for which language barriers are almost non-existent and the local flavour is rather a blessing than a curse.

The global appeal of genre cinema is also making it more and more attractive from the coproduction perspective. Coproductions on the genre front could well provide an easy access to the market in different European territories for Asian production companies, producers and talent and vice versa. Another advantage is easier access to distribution channels. With specialized genre distributors active in almost every territory, genre product is often superior to local mainstream product when trying to secure distribution in the international marketplace.

EARS on Helsinki 2015 seeks answers to these questions on niche content in Asia: What are the major pitfalls of pan-continental genre coproduction and how can they be avoided? Regarding content, what are the local restrictions and/or standard requirements that need to be taken into account when looking for cofinancing/coproduction partners? Can niche product be the content elevating the film industry from local to global?


Social soundtrack refers to the current consumption habits of live events. With the growing use of online channels, in addition to on-spot, live content is increasingly being consumed and commented on remotely online. Streaming of live events gives possibilities to consumers to interact for example with overseas festivals but also provide opportunities for events themselves. Festivals are no longer “just” live festivals but can increasingly reach overseas audiences. One example is Modern Sky Festival Helsinki, which is streamed to China from Helsinki in August. Increased visibility raises interest in Chinese brands – which for example at Modern Sky are taking part in the event through sponsorships. Streaming of live-events is a global trend but in Asia it is the social media channels and ways of marketing that commonly differ.

EARS on Helsinki 2015 seeks answers to these questions on live event consumption in Asia: How are live-events consumed on social media in Asia? What are the channels being used? What approaches should be taken in marketing? What possibilities are there for international partnerships in live event consumption?


In the past years Asia has witnessed the rise of numerous new performing arts venues and cultural hubs. Some of the biggest include West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and Taipei Performing arts Center, the first becoming one of the world’s biggest cultural hubs at its completion in 2017. Asia’s performing arts scene has seen increased funding and investment into the facilities but it’s not only new venues that have emerged. The rise of consumption power and leisure time in the emerging markets, have spurred new audiences interested in international productions especially in theatre and dance.

EARS on Helsinki 2015 seeks answers to these questions on performing arts venues in Asia: What are the basic missions, activities and strategies to reach audiences? Are there new working or business models to be found, or is it all about finding your audience? How do cities support their performing arts venues, are they a part of the cities’ cultural strategies?

EARS on trends is an article series presenting the latest developments from Asia’s creative industries. A deeper dive into the trends will be taken at the next EARS event.

Stroll in Helsinki

When in Helsinki, you might want to do some relaxed strolling around the city. We spotted the best places to wander off to when you feel like seizing the moment and breathing in some Nordic melancholy.


Kiasma is a museum of contemporary art in Helsinki, a lively cultural centre and meeting place for visitors of all kind. It’s the perfect place to spend an hour or more losing yourself in the ongoing exhibitions. Kiasma is worth visiting not only for its world-class art but the architectural experience. The most important building material in Kiasma is light. Architect Steven Holl was fascinated by the natural light in Finland, the way it lives with the changing seasons and times of day. Therefore shapes and textures of the building were designed with focus on light. During EARS on Helsinki you can visit following exhibitions: Jani Leinonen, Face to Face and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Check out the exhibitions and additional info here.

Mannerheiminaukio 2

Picture: Finnish National Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen

Töölönlahti Bay

The park around the Töölö Bay begins in the heart of Helsinki and is circled by a popular walking path. Put your comfy shoes on and take look at the Wooden villas along the shores as a reminder of Helsinki’s history or spend a relaxed moment sipping coffee at the little dock in front of kiosk styled café Tyyni. This verdant area in the middle of Helsinki is a must visit to everyone looking for a little break from the city sounds.

Tyyni: Helsinginkatu 56

Picture: Flickr Helen Penjam CC BY 2.0

Market Halls


There are several beautiful market halls in Helsinki worth taking a closer look at. One of them, The Old Market Hall of Helsinki has served its customers since 1889. Merchants sell everything from cheese, fish, shellfish, vegetable, fruit and cakes to spices, coffee and tea. They are also more than happy to help with any special orders. If not hungry, still recommended place to walk through breathing in the scents of Finnish delicacies and the old school atmosphere. In addition to the The Old Market Hall in Eteläranta, there are cool market halls in Hakaniemi and Hietaniemi.

All you need to know here!


Picture: Visit Helsinki



Ateneum Art Museum located in the central Helsinki is part of Finnish national gallery and dedicated to fine art from the Gustavian period of the mid-18th century to the modernist movements of the 1950s. Ateneum houses a handsome collection of international art, featuring works by such masters as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Fernand Léger and Marc Chagall. Not so dull way to spend an afternoon!

Opening hours, exhibitions and more here!

Kaivokatu 2

Picture: Visit Helsinki

Design District Helsinki


Helsinki offers an ideal place to get to know Finnish design and to buy top-class Finnish design products. Located in the centre of Helsinki, the Design District Helsinki is an area full of design and antique shops, fashion stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants and showrooms. Design District Helsinki is a neighbourhood and a state of mind. It is 25 streets and 200 spots on a map from shops to galleries and from design studios to design hotels. It is creativity, uniqueness, experiences, design and Finnish urban culture.

Convinced? Ready set go!

Picture: Visit Helsinki


EARS – Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions is a platform focusing on creative industry collaboration between Europe and Asia. The next EARS event will be held in Helsinki, August 27-30, showcasing the latest trends from Asia in the fields of design, music, performing arts, literature, marketing and media.


Interview with Pekka Salminen

When entering to Helsinki by airways it’s inevitable to pass through one of the most famous creations of architect Pekka Salminen. He is the President and the founder of PES-Architects and has worked as the Head of International Relations of the company for the past 10 years. In addition to the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, his resume consists of buildings such as Wuxi Grand Theatre and Strait Culture and Art Centre in Fuzhou China.

PES-Architects has an office in Helsinki and in Shanghai. Why China?

11 years ago, I travelled to China in the search of natural granite stones for Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport. That’s how our story with China started. We have had offices also in Germany and in Croatia, China seemed like the next natural step for us. For architects, China is a wonderland: there are the biggest and the most important challenges to accomplish and international competitions to attend to. China is a country where wonderful things can happen, but not easily. You need to be willing to work persistently and really hard, most importantly, to be there  as much as possible.


What kind of challenges did you face when opening your business in China?

Actually opening a sister company in China solved many of our previous challenges. The Chinese office helped us a lot with locality: for example there are some architecture competitions that you can attend only as a Chinese company and having a Chinese architect breaks down those language barriers. Of course, we thought long about taking such a big step forward but as things turned out really good, I have no regrets.

Which of your China-based projects are most important to you?

The Wuxi Grand Theatre located on a man-made peninsula of Wu-Li Lake, south of Wuxi centre city. The cultural complex contains a wide variety of functions, but most noticeably it houses the 1680 seat Grand Theatre for classical and Chinese opera, ballet, and symphony orchestral music. Another important building is Strait Culture and Art Center, I call it as the “cultural shopping mall”, in Fuzhou. The buildings resemble the petals of a jasmine blossom, the city flower of Fuzhou. It’s a place for all kinds of cultural activities from a multifunctional theater to an art exhibition building. The third building I would like to mention is The Icon Yunduan tower designed by my partner Tuomas Silvennoinen and located in a new high-tech district on the outskirts of Chengdu City. The design concept was to create an icon with a basic recognisable form. The 192m high, building with 47 floors resembles a “bamboo mountain”.


How is Finnish architecture appreciated in China?

Scandinavian architecture is highly valued in China. Especially Finnish architects are known for being trustworthy and innovative among local professionals. Smart and user friendly solutions in building are typical characteristics for Finnish architecture. In China, you can see that some values are upside down to our way of doing things: The Chinese buyer asks first about the looks of a building, then the price and finally the functionality.

Pictures: Wuxi Grand Theater and Strait Culture and Art Centre Fuzhou by Jussi Tiainen

Interview with Joerg Suermann

Joerg Suermann is Executive Creative Director of FOUNDRY Berlin, branding and marketing agency or inspiring business as he prefers to put it. This man is also the father of DMY International Design Festival, but decided last year that the child had grown enough to make it in the world without him. Facing new projects and challenges, Joerg Suermann feels happy, as did we at EARS when he found the time to talk about his Asia experiences with us.

You are the founder of DMY International Design Festival in Berlin. How did that all start?

It’s funny, actually in 2003 I had this idea of promoting myself as a designer, not building a global designer platform. The plan was to find clients and working opportunities in Berlin by throwing open studio parties to my friends, other designers and creative industry influencers. In 10 years it grew into something else. And I’m happy it did. Last year I made the decision to leave DMY as I felt the child was big enough. I was the father who was always concerned about my baby and brand needs changes. DMY is all about young designers and young audience, which I felt wasn’t me anymore. I always want to build something new and by leaving DMY behind I felt open for new possibilities again.

What are you working on with FOUNDRY Berlin at the moment?

These past weeks, I have been working with a new bike brand from China starting their business in Europe. Asian like European brands, many Chinese companies make their first steps in Europe and then go back in Asia to triumph. After establishing their brand in Europe they can make more sales in Asia.

What kind of projects have you realized in Asia?

We have done a lot of projects in Asia since 2006; 5 to 10 exhibitions every year from Tokyo to Singapore mostly promoting German designers. The reception has always been quite good; the people in Asia are open for design and inspiration, but it’s very difficult to sell the products. The understanding for design costing money is not yet in the same level as it is in Europe. But Asia is changing; nowadays people have more money and they are starting to invest in fashion, art and design.

What would be your 3 tips for creative company establishing business in Asia?

1. Start first in some other market than in Asia, like in Europe or US. If your product is already in the market, the Asian factors are not so fast to copy it. Get the pictures and descriptions out making your product unavailable for stealing.

2. Find local partners!

3. Find legal support. Asian business mentality is really hard to understand without legal guidance. A good Asian company won’t ever pay 100 % of the price asked. If you know this, it’s not a problem. I always charge 120 % price from Asian buyers. That way, when in the negotiation price will get to 80 % I won’t lose money. I also make the business partner feel good and respected.

In your view, how do European and Asian design interact?

German design is very basic and functional. Asian design is more playful and focused on details. Also the mentality is very different: in Europe we live in a culture where we learn to ask and criticize finding new ways of design and innovation that way. In Asia it’s not like that. The way to create is by copying honouring the master by doing that. European industry doesn’t approve this copy culture. It’s totally another way of designing, which is important to know and understand. We need to think that they like and respect design so much that they want to make it even better.

What’s the most interesting Asian country for creative industries at the moment?

China! Chinese market is so huge and they need so many things, it’s a paradise for designers. China has money and factors which makes it a strong place for creative industries. The Chinese government just launched a major project for the next 5 years including a lot of investments in the creative industries. They are in the position where they can buy all the knowledge they want for creative innovations.

How you see the development of Europe-Asia collaborations in the creative field?

Asians buy knowledge more and more from Europeans using it in educating their own people. It is very hard for Western people to blend into Asian culture, there is always going to be a certain distance. This is a problem if we don’t know how to cooperate with Asia the right way. One third of world’s population lives in Asia so it is important to think what we want out of these collaborations. How can we continue staying in our position and where we want to go. If it’s the right direction, Asia will follow.

What inspires you at the moment?

I think there’s a lot of potential in social design developing new models, strategies and products that can play a decisive role in the development and transformation of society. We have more and more people in the world so it’s essential to save resources and not necessarily buy everything new. That is what Asia needs also.

What would you like everyone to know about Asia?

You have to know that people are very respectful in a formal way. They have amazing food. They can not say no: they say yes, but you have to know what it means. If someone says to you “yes yes it’s coming” don’t wait for it, go for it.


EARS – Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions is a platform focusing on creative industry collaboration between Europe and Asia. The next EARS event will be held in Helsinki, August 27-30, showcasing the latest trends from Asia in the fields of design, music, performing arts, literature, marketing and media.

Creative hubs of Helsinki

With influences from both East and West, and a strong history with creative industries from design to media, Helsinki has developed into the coolest creative hub of the North. But what are the city’s hot spots and where does the creative source stem from? Hop on the EARS wagon and take a ride with us through some of Helsinki’s inspiring spaces. 

Pasila Studios 

Pasila Studios web

Pasila Studios is not only the venue of EARS on Helsinki 2015 but the hottest platform for creative operations and encounters in the capital area of Finland. With over 11 buildings, 150 000 m2 floor space, 4 studios, and 20 000 m2 of office space by 2018, Pasila Studios is the platform for innovation across sectors. And yes, of course there is a sauna in case for inspirational emergencies.

Pasila Studios is run by Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, a public service broadcasting company owned by the Finnish people. Yle has multiple national television and radio channels, and the most extensive and varied online selection of television and radio programmes in the country. The broadcasting company plays a major role in producing and presenting programmes dealing with Finnish national arts, educational and children’s programmes, as well as special interest and minority groups. When at Pasila Studios, you can sense both the long media history of Yle and the exciting vibes of the new and upcoming creative ecosystem.



Telakkaranta is the home of creatives from all fields! You can find the lucky fellows of Madventures, Makia Clothing and Kinos with many others housing their offices in here. Telakkaranta translates into dockyard and this particular one is quite special being one of the last evidences of early industry influenced milieus in Helsinki. Experience one of the Helsinki’s oldest shipyards first hand in August at Modern Sky Helsinki festival in Telakkaranta. Our guess is that there’s something in the water that gets those creative ideas floating.

Photo © Visit Helsinki


Cable Factory

Kaapelitehdas newsletter :kallu Flickr creative commons

The Cable Factory is the largest cultural centre in Finland with 3 museums, 12 galleries, dance theatres, art schools and a host of artists, bands and companies. Located in central Helsinki, around 900 people work at the old factory building on a daily basis. It’s a rustic home for a family like big group of creative industry enthusiasts supporting each other’s artistic projects. Cable Factory is a place where different creative projects such as TV productions, dancers and visual art workshops can live under the same roof and gain inspiration from one another. In August 2015, the factory building will host the 25×25 – Close encounter art marathon with 25 hours of non-stop Chinese underground!

Photo: /kallu / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0


Lepokorpi Studio

Saara Lepokorpi

Saara Lepokorpi is a Finnish upcoming clothing designer based in Helsinki. Her label Lepokorpi is part of the Pre Helsinki platform, dedicated to internationalizing Finnish clothing design through press events in Europe and Asia. The Lepokorpi studio is located in Vallila, one of the northernmost districts of central Helsinki. The same area is also home of various other design labels such as VALLILA interior and Iittala.

Saara’s search for the perfect working place went on for couple of years until the unique penthouse venue from a former factory building was found. Now Saara, owner of the fully renovated multifunctional ateljé, claims that it’s hard to stop working in such an inspirational place.

Photo © Saara Lepokorpi


EARS – Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions is a platform focusing on creative industry collaboration between Europe and Asia. The next EARS event will be held in Helsinki, August 27-30, showcasing the latest developments from the fields of design, music, performing arts, literature, marketing and media.

Interview with Toni-Matti Karjalainen

Toni-Matti Karjalainen is working as Academy Research Fellow at the Aalto University School of Business. At the moment he is doing a five-year research project focusing on trade of cultural narratives in the rock music industry. EARS got the chance to meet the guy and talk about those cultural narratives and academic collaborations between Europe and Asia.

What is your academic history and what has Asia got to do with it?

15 years ago I was writing my Master’s thesis for Nissan. That’s how it all really started with Japan. Afterwords I have done collaboration projects with Japanese companies, one-way research projects, researcher exchanges between universities, lectures at Kyoto Institute of Technology and various institutes in Tokyo. For years now I have been also lecturing and collaborating with South Korean Universities and companies.  At some point my personal interest towards music also became the topic of my research.

What cultural narratives are present in the rock music industry?

Finland has a positive reputation in Japan. In the Japanese music industry, Finland is the key word of getting the attention from local consumers: Finnish music has its roots deep in our original culture, which is interesting and exotic in Japan. Especially heavy metal fans know Finland as a small home country of various metal bands. These bands are representing the whole Finnish culture when touring in Japan: I’ve witnessed a heavy metal guitarist sign a Moomin troll and answer fans questions about the latest Marimekko‘s print pattern. I see this as a sign of wide interest towards Finnish culture, but also about open mindedness of Japanese consumers who don’t feel the need to categorize culture as design, music and Moomins. They take it all in and embrace it.

What kind of experiences do you have with collaboration with Asian universities?

Mostly my experiences have been good: the collaborations have been carried out with good spirit and mutual satisfaction. Japanese universities vary from Finnish ones in educational, operational and scientific principles. This makes some academic collaborations more difficult than others. The cultural barrier is the biggest factor, language another one. By learning some Japanese you already make a big impression on local partners. Differences in research are also clear: in Finland research results go deeper and are wider as in Asia, the results are concrete and easier to interpret.

What kind of collaborations would you like to do in the future between Europe and Asia in the cultural and academic fields?

I see Universities as great contact networks and impartial embassies between different countries and operatives. Their neutral approach makes universities perfect collaboration partners in various projects. For example, Aalto University has a Design Factory in Shanghai. If I’d meet a Finnish designer interested in starting a business in China, I would advise to contact Design Factory to get guidance on Shanghai’s design field.

In the future, I would like to see more cross art projects in Japan with Finnish culture as the main topic. Surprising combinations and creative madness interest Japanese whose local culture limits people’s creative way of thinking. Finnish art could be seen as an escape from the bureaucratic society.

More information about Toni-Matti Karjalainen on his website.

EARS – Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions is a platform focusing on creative industry collaboration between Europe and Asia. The next EARS event will be held in Helsinki, August 27-30, showcasing the latest developments from the fields of design, music, performing arts, literature, marketing and media.

Interview with Pirjetta Mulari

Pirjetta Mulari, International Affairs’ Manager of Dance Info Finland has been working with internationalizing Finnish dance for over a decade. She told EARS all that’s essential in international networking and the Asian market for dance.

Why is it important to internationalize Finnish dance? Where are export aims primarily directed to?

The Finnish market for dance is really small. For dancers and choreographers, it’s natural to go and work abroad as dance is inherently international for its nature. For Finnish dance, the most likely international networks lie in other Nordic countries and the rest of Europe. We also have great relations in Asia, especially Japan, Korea and China. At the moment East is clearly the right direction; artistically we share same values such as the importance of nature and education.

In what ways does Dance Info Finland aim to internationalize Finnish dance?

We build networks for long-term collaborations through residence programs, professional visits, networking events, collaboration performances, for example. We also invest in research of demand and interest for dance on an international level. It’s necessary to know who is who, where the vibrant markets are and what are the collaboration possibilities.

Then the work is simply creating contacts and maintaining them. Building international networks is a long process and there is no easy way out. When talking about internationalizing performing arts, I would rather use the word collaboration instead of export. The codes of conduct from business don’t apply to arts as they would to some other industry. It’s all about people working together for a common goal.

Which Asian country has an especially vivid field for dance art?

I wouldn’t specify that to only one as many Asian countries are growing as new centers of dance. Newcomers such as Vietnam and Cambodia are starting to have more and more dance artists. Of course China is an enormous country with endless possibilities. South Korea has around 55 universities where one can study a masters degree in dance, that tells a lot about the country.

Is Finnish dance appreciated abroad?

Yes. We have a versatile scene and not only a single pattern of doing things. Finnish dance is firmly rooted into our original and “exotic” country, which interests people. We have our own special sense of dark humor that can be seen in performances. There is a certain melancholy and deepness about Finnish dance. The use of space is something very original, since in Finland we have lots of space around us. Bringing that feeling of space  to cities like Beijing creates an interesting confrontation. Art education in Finland also allows for instance lighting and sound design grow as their own art forms.

What are the key steps for success in international markets of dance?

Focusing on doing your own thing and believing in it , the drive for internationalizing your own art and the ability to take risks. As an artist, you cannot only rely on the producer to do the networking and build your image. It is extremely important to have the state of mind of promoting yourself. It’s not an easy path, and it takes a long time to get recognized internationally.

How would you describe the European and Asian audience for dance?

In bigger cities, the competition for target audiences is very intense. Compared to Asia, Europe has longer traditions with contemporary performing arts. Europeans grow into contemporary art as in Asia the traditional art forms are more familiar to audiences. That can make Asian audiences more conservative, but I wouldn’t generalize this either.

One can also see differences between Asian countries. My observation is that in China audiences are more restless than in Japan where the audience is filled with total silence. In some places, censorship and liberty of speech narrow down possibilities to perform acts that in Finland would not be seen as tabus.

What can Finnish dance learn for Asian professionals?

Attitude! In many countries, there is no financial support system for dance but still there are beautiful, inspiring productions made out of determination and passion.


EARS – Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions is a platform focusing on creative industry collaboration between Europe and Asia. The next EARS event will be held in Helsinki, August 27-30, showcasing the latest developments from the fields of design, music, performing arts, literature, marketing and media.

Interview with Cheung Fai

Cheung Fai has 30 global years experience in the performing arts, cultural industry and media/marketing. At the moment he is working as an Artistic Advisor and Curator of Helsinki Festival 2015 Focus China. EARS interviewed the EARS on Helsinki 2015 speaker about his ongoing production in Helsinki.

You’re attending EARS on Helsinki for the second time in August. What has happened since we saw you the last time?

I am now working with the Helsinki Festival China focus. Inside China focus I am curating a special event with young artists called 25 x 25, standing for 25 hours of various non-stop performances by Chinese artists under the age of 25. That is my main project at the moment but I have also been doing other festivals in China during this past year.

Could you tell us how this collaboration with Helsinki Festival started?

Actually, I met Erik, the artistic director of Helsinki Festival last year during EARS. We talked about the China focus program and both thought there was a need to have different younger Chinese artists presenting what they are doing and thinking. So I curated this project with more than 12 young artists from the fields of  theatre, music, dance, visual arts and media. Some of them are not professional artists but students or they do other things at the same time. They create art in different ways than others, even professional artists in their fields. As they are so young, they have a different perspective of seeing, understanding and presenting the world through their art. They are fresh artists with new ideas. The original creativity is there, you can see the sparkle.

Who are the young artists coming to Helsinki?

Youngest of them is a dancer and choreographer, only 17 years old girl from a small village, now studying in Hong Kong. You can see the raw energy of her body and of what she wants to express.  Even when she’s not sure what she is expressing you can see the urge to move. We also have an actress/director from Beijing doing a monolog about pain. She has interviewed other girls and women from different ages about their experiences

and built a monolog based on those statements. We also have a musician interested in interactive sound art. There is also going to be two artistic groups trying to find different ways to express art; they are part of a project that can be seen as an artwork or a social study but that doesn’t change the content, the love and the interest for powerful insight. These are some of the artists performing at 25 x 25 in August.

Does the new generation and their work differ somehow from what we have seen before?

They don’t have a historical or even professional burden on their shoulders. China is comparably new to the contemporary artistic culture. In many ways the Chinese traditions and western traditions are burden to more professional artists who might be trained to think according to certain traditions. They can feel chained. Young artists don’t care about the traditions from East or West. They are trying to find the creativity from themselves, from their imagination and from their own lives, not from the academy or their teachers. They are more fresh and willing to break free from some of the definitions of different forms of art. From many artists you can not really say she is a dancer or a theater person, they cross boundaries. They have more freedom in their works and in their lives. They are more themselves as individuals and braver to take risks without being afraid of failure. I think they are the future.

What is best about EARS?

Roundtables! Talking is important to everyone; for people in business, art and media. You have to have people talking to each other before anything good can really happen between them. For the relations between Europe and Asia, talking is essential; the world is evolving and changing every day. We need people to meet each other and talk to each other face to face, have them ask questions and that way find real understanding. This form of roundtables brings different people from different countries and industries together to talk, that is the beginning of every possibility.

Pasila Studios – Creative hub of Helsinki

EARS asked Anssi Komulainen, Head of Partnerships of Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, to tell his views and expectations for EARS on Helsinki 2015, and the opportunities the event beholds.

Anssi Komulainen

Why is Pasila Studios the best place for EARS on Helsinki?

It’s the hottest platform for creative operations and encounters in the capital area of Finland, located in upcoming urban district, which is planned to be Helsinki’s second city center in 2020.

What are you looking forward to the most about EARS on Helsinki 2015?

I’m waiting to get to talk, meet and innovate with Asia’s creative professionals and that way, build concrete collaborations and business opportunities between East and West. The differences of the European and Asian media fields bring incredible opportunities to build new and interesting things.

Where do you see the greatest opportunities for collaborations between Finnish and Asian media fields?

In education and children. Asia is a continent where investing in youth and children is seen as a very important matter. Finland is a pioneer in equality and education. I think these values form a great foundation for future collaborations.