Visiting Yakutian Cattle 2005 – Art Works



In spring 2005, a multidisciplinary research team from Helsinki University and MTT Agrifood Research Finland conducted a field study in the Eveno-Bytantay district of the Sakha Republic in the Russian Federation. The goal was to investigate possible socio-economic risks connected to the preservation of endangered Yakutian cattle in three remote, Siberian villages. Yakutian cattle has survived only in these three villages as a population of 1000 heads. I joined this team. 

I worked with the research team, interviewing people and drawing, painting and photographing the cattle. Working among the cattle made it possible to get to know the cattle from up close, to understand their characters and temperaments. The main part of the artistic work was done later in Helsinki.

The outcome was an art project Yakutian Cattle – Exploring Expedition to Siberia in the 2000’s


Yakutian Cattle – 9 Portraits, 2007, oil,  55-65 x 40 cm

Siberian Sky, 2007, oil,  170x270cm


Cotravellers, 2008, oil, three parts á 170×70 cm


9 Paths, oil,  2007, 85×195 cm


Mother’s Pearls, 2007,  plaster spheres, acrylic color,  25 m.

Mother’s Pearls represents genetic information in the mitochondrial sequence T4, found in Yakutian cattle (Kantanen, personal communication (2007). Each nucleotide is marked with one of four different size plaster spheres that refer to four different constituent bases of DNA, adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine (the basic elements of genetic information in DNA). Bases (i.e. spheres in this work) that make this sequence T4 type are marked with red glow, other bases (i.e. spheres) reflect green on the wall.

Gallery Katariina Helsinki, Gallery Myymälä2 Helsinki,  Gallery Uusikuva Kotka, Nacka Konsthalle Stockholm Sweden.