Raili Tang biography

photo: Jussi Koivunen

Born in Helsinki, Finland 1950 | Lives and works in Helsinki, Finland


Raili Tang interprets sensations and feelings that are not easily captured by speech or painted figurative art. Her complete mastery of color and bold brush strokes produce paintings that create scintillating impressions of space and light. Differing from her previous paintings on canvas, Tang’s new collages are assembled with rag paper, while the surface is covered with a thick layer of acrylic paint and thinner gold and silver-plating. Via the strong textures, associations are generated that lead the viewer to different layers of time and styles: parallels can be found to wall murals, tags, and an expressionistic style along the lines of kitsch. The works’ flow and atmosphere continue multi-dimensionally over the surfaces’ edge, whereupon the paintings traditional rectangular shape is lost.


Tang's debut exhibition in 1981 came at a time when the Finnish art scene was just becoming international. Artists strove to escape tradition by returning sensuality and substance to painting. Tang sought the genre of abstract expressionism, whose doctrines hold that the painting itself is a feeling or experience, and not merely an image. This philosophy is still connected to Tang's work. The artist's works have been featured in exhibitions held in Finland as well as numerous international exhibitions. Her works are included in the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art and the Saastamoinen Foundation collections, among others.


Galerie Forsblom has been representing Raili Tang since 2005.