5 tips for visiting this year’s MoA

Lost in Jätkäsaari, or in the building itself? Didn’t realise how HUGE the exhibit is? No fear. The MoA team has actually done a lot of little things to help.

1. Free guided tours on Saturdays

There’s one tomorrow, and every other Saturday from 16:00 – 17:00. I had a wee impromptu tour when I arrived, since Jussi Laine was working the desk and was happy to point things out to me upstairs, including his own work and a few of his favourite pieces.  You really do get the inside scoop.

2. Printable custom catalogs

These are GREAT. When you arrive, make sure you get one of these cards and a pen. The reverse side has a field of numbers next to bubbles which, while they do give me flashbacks to standardised tests in high school, are used for a much more fabulous purpose here. Every work in MoA has a number, and if you like something, just fill in the corresponding dot. At the end of your visit, there’s a spot in a wall in the main hallway where you insert your filled-in card, press a reassuringly old-fashioned button, and voila:

It’s a print-out list of the titles and names behind the stuff you liked, plus a custom URL that contains details on all of those pieces.

3. Reittiopas understands “MoA”

Go to the Helsinki public transport planner at reittiopas.fi. Type in “MoA”. Yahtzee!

4. Take some time

The exhibit is large. Really, really quite expansively and hugely enormous. It’s more like a full-on museum than anything else, and some of the pieces are going to draw you in for a little while. Take an afternoon or evening. I’d budget 2.5 to 3 hours for a visit, although if you’re like me and your head gets full after a couple of hours, you can always visit more than once; it’s free.

5. Chat up the Masters

There’s always a few students manning the info desk and ready to say hello, and while some of them might appear shy at first glance, they are all passionate about at least a few pieces, including their own. Even if there’s no tour on, ask if someone can talk to you about their work, or their favourites, or just to show you around. When people talk about something they like, they give you all the juicy information first.

Bonus tip: the toilets. Don’t forget.

The whole exhibit: moa.aalto.fi