Admission with Museum Card

Jaakko Niemel: Praakk

Oulu Museum of Art, Oulu

  • 10.1.2024–26.5.2024

Praakk, meaning wreck, is an exhibition about loss, longing for seafaring and the memory of the artist's sea captain father.


For Jaakko Niemel (born 1959 in Rauma), the wreck is also a symbol of a life lived. It carries memories while simultaneously breaking down and fading away. Sea, ships and seafaring have been important to the artist since childhood. A deeper exploration of them began in 2012, when Niemel started a research project named Nostalgia to get to know his late sea captain father better.

I am the son of a sea captain. My father was at sea a lot when I was little. This is why I never knew him very well. When my father retired after his career, he soon developed dementia and lost his ability to speak. He died in 1985 when I was 26 years old. Later I have come to realise that my fathers absence and death have had a considerable impact on my life.”

Jaakko Niemel builds spatial installations that often resemble landscapes of light and shadow. His work moves between themes of loss and longing on an individual level and destruction and decay on a societal level. On one hand, Niemels works frequently imagine and model structures that feel both utopian and dystopian, while on the other hand showing their collapse, destruction and disintegration.

The exhibition at the Oulu Art Museum is accessed via a lowered space. The large Gallery A houses a multimedia selection of works that continues thematically into Gallery C in the form of drawings and archive materials. Black Motor, a work created for the present exhibition focusing on the notion of evil, is built in the dimly lit Pocket exhibition space.

Based in Rauma and Helsinki, Jaakko Niemel has worked as a visual artist since the 1980s. He cites light, shadow, scale and structure as his principal tools. In addition to spatial installations, Niemel is also a printmaker and creates light art and video works. He has studied fine arts at the Kankaanp Art School and light architecture at the Aalto University. He was awarded the State Prize in 2005 and has also created numerous public works.

The works in the exhibition were created in Niemels studio at the Rauma shipyard, where ocean-going cruise ships are also built. The video animations have been made in collaboration with Paula Lehtonen, Antti Laakso, Kai Kostack, Oliver Walter and Martin Felke, while the soundscapes of the works are created by Verneri Pohjola, Antti Niemel and Alessandro Scarlatti.

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Museum contact details

Oulu Museum of Art
Kasarmintie 9, 90015 Oulun kaupunki

044 703 7471

Museum website

Yhteydet julkisilla

Näytä reitti museolle Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Katso reitti Matkahuollon reittioppaassa


Oulu Museum of Art, Kasarmintie 9, 90015 Oulun kaupunki


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Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


Payment methods

Kteinen, yleisimmt pankki- ja luottokortit, Edenred, Epassi, Kaikukortti, SmartumPay

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 09:00-19:00
Wed 09:00-19:00
Thu 09:00-19:00
Fri 09:00-19:00
Sat 11:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-18:00