Young Arctic Artists 2021 continues the series of international exhibition promoting emerging artists related to the Arctic. Exhibitions are managed by Artists’ Association of Lapland and co-curated by the Finnish – Kven curatorial team: Savu Korteniemi (FI), Panu Johansson (FI), Katriina Pedersen (NO) and Åsne Kummeneje Mellem (NO).

The aim of this exhibition series is to map out the scene of young contemporary art in the selected northern geographic area, advance its visibility and to create new networking possibilities for artists and curators.

With 4th edition the concept of Young Arctic Artist is updated by creating structures and conventions together with the people of the Arctic. With YAA 2021 we have invited Kven people, a Finnic ethnic minority in Norway, to participate to curatorial working. The curatorial theme of the YAA 2021 has been created from the Kven viewpoint and we would especially like to encourage young Kven people from all fields of art and creative expression to apply to the project.

Savu Korteniemi

Savu Korteniemi is Lapland-based visual artist. They encounters art and reality using drawing, writings and sculpture in their practice. Currently Savu is working with the question on the northerness by many points of view: they are interested in societies and cultures, languages and myths, history and future of the North. Topical projects are “The Last Ones”, considering the Finnic mythology and a connection between the Land of North and The Land of Death. Other project, combining artistic and research methods, is “Prosessi / Der Prozess”, which deals with the questions of violent practices, focusing to the Finnish-German wartime secret collaboration and the destiny of the Jewish refugees in Finland and Lapland during Second World War.

Pronoun: they /them


Panu Johansson

Panu Johansson is a media artist and an experimental filmmaker from Finland. He works with moving image, photography and sound. His works have been exhibited in various festivals, exhibitions and microcinemas since the year 2000. 

Reoccurring themes in Johansson’s work are memories, landscape, the history of experimental film and cultural history. When working with moving image he prefers analogue film, tough he is open to all materials. Johansson collect images and sounds eagerly and also likes to use “found footage” materials whenever possible. His works could be described with terms such as landscape film, diary film or personal film.

Pronoun: he/him


Katriina Pedersen

Katriina Pedersen is a widely used mediator of Kven language and culture. Currently she is organizing the Kven revitalization work at Naavuonon kielikeskus – Návuona giellaguovddáš, the language center of Kven and Sami in Kvænangen municipality in Northern Norway. Katriina is constantly looking for new approaches to revitalizing Kven language and culture. For her revitalization must be done with acceptance and openness. Strengthening Kven identity is opening up for cultural diversity and interaction between different cultures and languages. 

Pronoun: she/her


Åsne Kummeneje Mellem

Åsne Kummeneje Mellem is a photographer and kven artist. She is using the field of art to visualize and revitalize the kven culture focusing on the gap between generations where knowledge and traditions have faded in light of the assimilation. The publication Kven er Kven? (2019) got positive attention from media both inside and outside the kven community. Showing photos and honest conversations with eleven people identifying with the Kven culture, focusing on how it is to be a Kven today. 

She is now investigating the art of Käsityö, the traditional crafts of the Kven people. By using typical raw materials of Käsityö without having any elders to show her what to do with it, she is putting the spotlight on the lack of continuation in knowledge from the previous generations.

Pronoun: she/her