Photo: Mirva Niemi

The entrance exam of the Academy of Fine Arts has an open atmosphere

What is your name and what do you study? How many years have you studied?

My name is Tuomo Sundvall and this is my first year at the Academy of Fine Arts.

What happened in the entrance exam and how did you feel about it?

The entrance exam of the Academy of Fine Arts lasted eight days. They gave us four themes which were really ambiguous and designed so that you could do practically anything you wanted. The task was to create two or more works of art within those eight days.

During the entrance exam days the review group, which consisted of teachers, walked around from person to person to have a chat while we were working, asking about the work in progress and its history. I made two works myself. The first one was somewhere between a sculpture and an environmental work, and the second one was a sculptural work which also included sound.

Personally I felt that the entrance exam was very open and relaxed. There was no obligation to be present all the time, we were allowed to come and go freely during the time provided. I feel that it would not have been very useful if they had defined very specific tasks for us, such as, “draw a person sitting in a chair.” After all, people used so many different techniques in the entrance exam.

How did you prepare for the entrance exam?

I did not really prepare for the entrance exam in any way. This was the second time that I applied for the Academy of Fine Arts, so I knew what would happen after the last time. I did not stress about the exam at all because for me, eight days is a long time to work and I knew I would finish the works within the allocated time. During the first couple of days I hardly worked at all, I just walked around and thought about the works. I’ve learned to understand my way of working, so I did not stress about the time. In the end, I finished my works almost two days before the entrance exam ended.