UPM participates in the Lux Helsinki light festival

Press Release 3.1.2022 11:00 EET

UPM and the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation will participate in the Lux Helsinki light festival on 5–9 January, which will transform familiar buildings and spaces into unique works of urban art and illuminate the city during the darkest hours of the year.

The exterior of UPM's headquarters will feature a 3D video projection by Soil Searchers Collective titled “Its Songs We Sing”, which also includes music. The artwork turns the public’s gaze to the basis of everything, the ground. It reminds us that there is a hidden biological world underground, with which the ecosystems above ground interact.

Pirkko Harrela, Executive Vice President of Stakeholder Relations at UPM, hopes that the work makes viewers think about the symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment. Safeguarding the soil and its riches is a prerequisite for all life.

“A diverse forest produces a lot of good. Wood provides sustainable and renewable alternatives to fossil raw materials and safeguarding the well-being and growth of the forest is a key goal in developing modern, forward-looking forestry practices”, Harrela says.

Forest in the middle of the city

The location of the work in the heart of the city brings a unique perspective to the nature motif. Tanja Saarto, Executive Director at UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, considers the presence of nature as being vital for human welfare, even in the city: “People need elements of living nature, like trees or water, to feel happy. In Helsinki, we are lucky to have both.”

Saarto also hopes that the artwork by Soil Searchers Collective makes the viewer think about the underground realms of their own familiar forests: “We are used to seeing the aboveground forest full of growth, natural wonders and folklore magic, but there are stories and happenings below the surface, too. Hidden deep in the soil, micro-organisms and bacteria produce ingredients that trees need to grow, and without this co-operation, there would be no forest.”

UPM has a long history of acting as a patron of the arts, extending all the way back to the 19th century. Known primarily for its extensive painting collection, UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation wants to continue this tradition and make the normally unseen underground forest visible for the city audience at Lux Helsinki.

“We are open to projects also in other fields of art and design, as well as co-operation with educational institutes among others”, Saarto hints.

“Its Songs We Sing” can be seen on the walls of the UPM head office during Lux Helsinki on 5–9 January from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The work can also be viewed during Lux Morning on 7 January from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

More information about the artwork by Soil Searchers Collective is available on the event website:

For further information please contact:
Tanja Saarto, Executive Director, UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation, email: tanja.saarto@upmks.fi, tel. +358 (0) 45 636 3764.

Photo: Soil Searchers Collective / Lux Helsinki

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We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 18,000 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 8.6 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore – Beyond fossils. www.upm.com

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UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation
The purpose of the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation is to foster knowledge of the cultural heritage of the Finnish forest industry by owning, exhibiting, and supporting related art, knowledge and research. The Foundation aims to promote interaction and stimulate interest, and is a prudent and long-term player in its commitments and investments. https://upmkulttuurisaatio.fi/en

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