The Silent People

 Cultural landmark

The Silent People


The Silent People is an art installation produced by Reijo Kela. The first time for this installation was in 1988 in Suomussalmi. The installation provokes the travellers and motorists to stop and wonder about these ''people''. In this 1994 launched art installation the figures standing in the middle of the field causes curiosity and disorientation. Read more about the mystery of Suomussalmi.

The Silent People by Reijo Kela

The artist hasn't given any concrete answer about his art work and the purpose of the installation is to make travellers face these mysterious figures in the field. The installation has been once moved to the steps of Helsinki Cathdedral to promote the region of Kainuu. Few days after being in the steps, the Silent People moved quietly back to their original place in Suomussalmi. Now the amount the figures in the field is roughly around 1000. This installation has generated international attention and it has been rewarded in Kent to receive the Medway-price in visual art-series.

Suomussalmi art installation

By the fall, the characters look creepy as the rising mist blurs the boundaries of the characters. In the middle of the mist, the characters may look like ghosts or ghosts in the middle of the field with peat bogs and wind-torn clothes.

When winter comes, characters get snow cover and look almost like people. The gloomy weather of the midwinter produce an unbelievable mood for the field and Reijo Kela's work. The purpose of the work is revealed when the characters are removed of their clothing. Only a large number of branches and sticks remain - the remaining landscape resembles the cemetery.

There is also a meadow cafe on the edge of the field, which is operating during the summertime. In Suomussalmi, performance sometimes causes small-scale traffic or congestion during peak seasons when tourist buses stop and capture images of the mystical figures in the field.

Local workshop Hanslankarit puts the clothes for The Silent People every season, so you should visit the installation to see different styles in each season. Characters' clothes are changed twice a year, early spring and fall. They always have new clothes for the figures in the field.

The installation is located in Suomussalmi highway 5 near the local fields. Keep your eyes open!

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