Kai Noramies (1918-1976) was an artist, illustrator, chemist and philosopher from Helsinki, Finland. Noramies studied art at the University of Helsinki’s drawing-room and Helsinki’s Free Art School. In the 1950s and 1960s, he represented the Association of Finnish Sculptors at the Finnish Workers’ Educational Association. Noramies was also a member of the Finnish State Art Committee between 1958–1961. Noramies was a member of the Artist’s Association of Finland and senior artists. He created his own art philosophy around his work, which combined art and chemistry. As a chemist, he developed new painting and sculpting techniques. Noramies worked as a food chemist at the Finnish Cooperative Wholesale Association’s (OTK) central laboratory between 1948–1966.
Noramies participated in numerous exhibits in both in Finland and abroad. His art received praise in Finland, France, Italy, Australia, and Bulgaria. The Academy of Fine Arts in Rome granted him the Tommaso Campanella award for his achievements in art in 1970. Noramies’ exhibit at Kunsthalle Helsinki in 1975 ended up being his last. Kai Noramies’ works are now in the collections of various Finnish companies, private persons, art collectors in Finland and abroad, as well as art museums, such as HAM in Helsinki and art museums in Tampere and art museum Didrichsen in Helsinki. He also won numerous sculpting and painting contest, the most significant one of which resulted in his sculpture Nuorten leikki (Young Play) to be displayed in a public park in Helsinki.
Löytäkää meidät (Find Us) – series of sculptures, 27 interconnected bronze sculptures
Finished between 1965–1975
Photos by Pekka Rötkönen
“We are at the brink of a universal crisis. Progress is impossible without revising our attitudes and goals. The two of us, the three of us, the many of us.”
K.N. In Tammisalo, on 11 September, 1976
”The Löytäkää meidät (Find us) series of sculptures is a part of a larger whole. It is a part of my great dream. If it touches You, the viewer, then is it not also a part of You?”
After the series of sculptures was finished in 1975, Kai Noramies claimed to have realized the reason he was born through his art. It is his testament to humanity; to understand children and childhood as the basis of a human’s life cycle and the key to humanity’s well-being and peacefulness.
The Family Federation of Finland has a tradition of giving out small bronze sculptures based on Kai Noramies’ work Tirkistys tulevaisuuteen (A Glimpse into the Future) from his Löytäkää meidät series as an award for Finnish persons or communities that have done outstanding work for Finnish children and families, as well as for related research. Recipients of this award include e.g., Prof. of psychology, emerita Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, Mrs. Eeva Ahtisaari and fatherhood researcher Ph.D. Jouko Huttunen.
Art historian (Dottoressa in Lettere) Meri-Kirsi Koponen did a thesis on Kai Noramies’ art in the Catholic university of Milan in 2003. Her Master’s thesis, written in Italian, is about Noramies’ sculptures and their philosophy. Koponen dedicated the thesis to the memory of her grandfather, Kai Noramies.
Meri-Kirsi Koponen organized numerous exhibitions for Noramies’ art in Milan between 2004–2006, including a private exhibition in Galleria Artesanterasmo, featuring the Löytäkää meidät series of small sculptures and the Apostolit lapsina (Apostoles as Children ) series of graphics. There was also a joint exhibition at Galleria D`Arte Eustachi, and the sculpture Lapsi (Child) was featured at a charity exhibit at the Palazzo Dell´Arengario.
Kristus and Apostolit lapsina (Christ and the Apostoles as Children), graphic arts, 1976
The graphic arts collection includes a total of 13 pictures, four of which are displayed here.
Photos by Amar Helali
“A true work of art comes close to the purviews of religion, philosophy, and science. Suddenly, it manifests the innermost and deepest singularity.”
Ajatusten syntyä (The Birth of Thoughts), 1950s
“Sculpting is the search of living space and volume. A real and true work of art combines all dimensions, including the fourth one, time. Movement that strives to dominate space inspires it dynamically, beating within it like a heart.”
Ajatusten löytämistä (The Discovery of Thoughts), 1950s
Time – state – space
”The experience of time and state is based on experience and insight gained through it. Art lives inside us whenever it touches us. It liberates new spaces within us. As we learn more about this, we improve at loving without becoming frustrated. Giving is indeed a richness since everything is connected to everything else. Our goal is a comprehensive life and unity that moves towards fulfilment.”
In the 1970s, Noramies completed several sries of sculptures, illustrations and paintings, including: the Biarriz sculpture series, and the painting series Kalevala, Kiitos (Prize) and Klovni (Clown).
The series includes approx. 60 paintings
“Behind the language of Kalevala is our essence, the word of origin. The inner Sampo birthed the outer Sampo, which was broken to be found inside the language inside the language of poetry, beneath the external construct of time. There were Väinämöinen, the womb, time, and the Moment. The Big Bang shattered all the elements. The bases of our existence were born. A new continuation manifested in man, from information molecules to larger entities. The guidance to these is the real SAMPO from Kalevala. In the epic of Kalevala, the kantele is given to the child, the future, Christ given to man.”
Kai Noramies, in Tammisalo, 21 October, 1976
Noramies drew 15 pictorial stories with different subjects in 1976
“We ourselves are a part of nature. All new things discovered through art are most closely related to us and the entire universe, of which our system is a tiny part. The overall impression of the space around us, of which we are a part of, is becoming clearer and clearer. A helical, asymmetrical, and pulsating time – state – unity expresses itself more and more. To my understanding, information opportunities at a molecular level are based on the helical time and state-based four-dimensional structure of these molecules. Thus, one must increasingly pay attention to the basis, the child and the growth environment, and advance from there to the very structures of society. The internal and external time-state must be aligned into the most optimistic unity. This is the utmost important mission for the future.”
Pause for a moment and let go of your hurries.
Pause for a moment to think,
to help build future generations who can build better than us,
to prevent creativity already stifled in childhood from being completely erased
in life’s frustrating streams.
Pause for a moment to evaluate
to avoid building your selfhood on irrelevant tools,
at any cost and without a care for anyone else.
Pause for a moment to renew yourself.
Come forward with us, come to a new, happier world.
Because we are together, the two of us, the three of us, the many of us.
We are on an expedition at the source of light.
Near a child here and now.
Pause for a moment.