Kim Simonsson is a Finnish-Swedish sculptor, who lives and works in the Fiskars Village, Finland. He has been working with ceramics for over 20 years and through his creations has influenced the way we encounter the ancient materials. In the world of Simonsson’s creations, children and animals have the main role.
In his early works, Simonsson first built up his pieces with compact clay around an iron frame, and from this produced a plaster mold. He created the final work of art by pressing the clay into the dry and finalised plaster mold. The sculpture could still be polished before the firings and glazes. This is for example, how the artwork ‘The Girl Jumping in a Pool of Water’ as exhibited here in KWUM, was created.
Simonsson thinks he has inherited a craftsman’s gene. The craftsmanship is further evident in the green moss figurines, which have become internationally appreciated. He works the clay with his fingers into the desired shape. The shapes are often formed into children who carry objects they’ve found with them. In the objects, however, old craftsmanship is combined with technology. The moss-like surface has been achieved with neon yellow nylon fiber, which has been electrostatically transferred on the surface of the black-painted ceramic artwork. Perhaps the interest in bringing together different techniques was born when Simonsson studied at The University of Art and Design, now Aalto University.
During 2022 Simonsson’s artwork has been exhibited on several occasions in France. Simonsson participated in the ‘Lille 3000 Utopi festival’, where ten 4.5 meter tall enlargements of his moss people were made in collaboration with Atelier St Roch and exhibited between May and October. These giants welcomed about 2 million visitors to the festival on Lille’s main street, Rue Faidherbe.
Currently Simonsson has a solo exhibition at the Galerie Nec in Paris and almost 30 sculptures are being exhibited at the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Lyon.
The moss people’s stories are detailed in the Tales of the Moss people book, which was published in autumn 2022.
Photo: Jefunne Gimbel