Ulrike Meinhof commits suicide in her prison cell. Mao Zedong dies and the Cultural Revolution ends in China. Pol Pot establishes Democratic Kampuchea. Hello Kitty begins her conquest of the world.
Spends the summers at his grandparents’ cottage by the Lake Päijänne.
Spain has its first democratic elections after Francisco Franco's dictatorship. Steven Biko is killed by the South African police. Elvis Presley performs his last-ever concert. Sex Pistols releases Never Mind The Bollocks. George Lucas premieres Star Wars. Strawberry flavored Pocky is introduced.
His parents buy a color TV.
Deng Xiaoping begins the economic reforms called Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Vietnam invades Kampuchea. The pro-communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan is proclaimed. Karol Wojtula aka John Paul II is elected the 263rd Pope.
Doesn’t show any special artistic talent during the childhood.
Ayatollah Khomeini becomes the leader of Iran. Saddam Hussein becomes the president of Iraq. Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. China invades Vietnam. Tanzania invades Uganda and Idi Amin flees to Libya. The revolution led by the Sandinists wins in Nicaragua. McDonald's introduces the Happy Meal.
His parents divorce.
The war between Iran and Iraq begins. The Summer Olympics are held in Moscow and boycotted by the United States. Solidarity trade union is founded in Poland and the strikes begin at the Gdansk shipyard. John Lennon is murdered. Pedro Almódovar releases Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap.
Travels with his mother to Morocco.
AIDS is reported first time. Ronald Reagan is inaugurated as the president of the United States. Anwar El Sadat is assassinated. The video game Donkey Kong is released.
Participates in anti-American demonstrations with his mother.
Argentina and the United Kingdom go to war for the control of the Falkland Islands. Israel invades Lebanon. Saddam Hussein begins the genocide of Kurds. Leonid Brezhnev dies. Urho Kekkonen dies. Martn Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen collaborate in the work Capri by Night. Diet Coke is introduced.
Goes to elementary school.
Ronald Reagan proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative, Star Wars. The United States invades Grenada.
Is interested in Kiss, Knight Rider and Star Wars but for the strict communist ideology of his family must consume American pop culture in secrecy.
Indira Gandhi is murdered. Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being is published. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol collaborate in a series of paintings. Michael Jackson records Pepsi Generation.
Refuses to become a pioneer, an infantile member of the Communist Party.
Nelson Mandela rejects an offer of freedom from the South African government. The Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is sunk in by French agents. The feminist art group Guerilla Girls are established. Bob Geldof organizes Live Aid concerts for raising funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. Robert Zemeckis releases Back to the Future is premiered. Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke.
Travels to Leningrad and is told not to ask any questions. Reads The Phantom comics and eats Mars bars.
Olof Palme is assassinated. Ferndinand Marcos flees from the Philippines. A nuclear disaster occurs in Chernobyl. Diego Maradona scores with hand of God against England in the World Cup.
Is told by the teacher that he can’t draw.
Mihail Gorbachev announces Glasnost and Perestroika. Mathias Rust flies illegally from Helsinki to the Red Square. The First Intifada begins. Andy Warhol dies. Kentucky Fried Chicken opens its first restaurants in China.
Draws castles and warfare. Visits Legoland.
An independent State of Palestine is proclaimed. Hayao Miyazaki premieres My Neighbor Totoro. Krzysztof Kieślowski's premieres A Short Film about Killing. Banana Yoshimoto publishes Kitchen. Leonard Cohen releases I'm Your Man. Michael Jackson begins to build Neverland.
Lives in Melbourne, where he attends high school, which is a tremendous intercultural experience after the childhood in the monocultural Finland. Falls in love with a Malaysian girl but is not responded. Learns to speak English. Collects Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stickers.
Tiananmen Square protests are crushed by the Chinese government. The Berlin Wall is torn down. Soviet troops depart from Afganistan. Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa on Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses.
Becomes interested in different left wing ideas from Anarchism to Situationism. Spends several weeks in Tallinn, the capital city of the Soviet Estonia, where he acts like a rich jackass spending his Western currency. He is told by local friends that the Soviet Union will never fall.
Iraq invades Kuwait. United States invades Iraq. Namibia gains independence from South Africa. World Wide Web is launched. Jeff Koons exhibits Made in Heaven featuring him and his wife Cicciolina. Hanif Kureishi publishes The Buddha of Suburbia. David Hasselhoff performs Looking for Freedom standing on the Berlin wall.
Travels to the reunified Berlin on a school field trip. Sees an exhibition of Degenerate Art but is more interested in drinking beer what is not served to minors in Finland. Sees a Yoko Ono exhibition at the Pori Art Museum.
The Soviet Union is disbanded. The Cold War ends. Bret Easton Ellis publishes American Psycho. Leos Carax premieres Les Amants du Pont-Neuf.
Travels to Italy and visit Florence and Rome. Enrolls in an art high school where many of the most prominent future artists of his generation attend. Goes several times every week to the Finnish Film Archive cinema. Reads a book per day, including the classics from Dostoyevsky to Plato. Is fascinated by Jean Baudrillard’s essays. Writes poems and short stories. Becomes vegetarian for ecological reasons.
The Bosnian War begins. The Democratic Republic of Afganistan falls. Deng Xiaoping establishes a socialist market economy in China. Pope John Paul II issues an apology, and lifts the edict of the Inquisition against Galileo Galilei. Damien Hirst presents The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.
Writes poems and short stories. Wants to be a terrorist or a poet.
North Korea starts a nuclear weapon program. The Russian army tanks shoot the parliament during the constitutional crisis. Benazir Bhutto is elected the prime ministerof Pakistan. Cyril Collard premieresSavage Nights. Wei Hui publishes Shanghai Baby.
Paints his first canvases. His girlfriend makes him to listen Manic Street Preachers’ album Generation Terrorists. Wants to be a rock star, without playing any instrument, and tries to form a band without success. After seeing Ilya Kabakov’s installation Operation Room (Mother and Son) wants to become artist. Travels to Vienna to see Egon Schiele's paintings.
A million people are killed in the Rwandan genocide. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation begins their combat in Chiapas. Russia invades Chechenia. Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as the president of South Africa. Kim Jong-il becomes the supreme leader of North Korea. Silvio Berlusconi is elected the prime minister of Italy. Carlos the Jackal is arrested. Colombian Andrés Escobar is murdered for the own goal scored in the World Cup against the United States. Kurt Cobain commits suicide. Wong-kar Wai premieres Chungking Express. Martin Kippenberger exhibits Happy End of Franz Kafka's America. Yoshitomo Nara exhibits The Drawing Room.
Graduates from the high school. Applies to the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and is rejected. Begins the obligatory military service but after three days is declared inadaptable to authorities and discipline and is sent to therapy. Attracted by Pedro Almódovar’s films travels to Madrid and Barcelona, where he works as a journalist reporting by telephone to a Finnish radio station. Sees Picasso's Guernica in the Reina Sofia Museum. Frequents illegal sadomasochist techno raves. His best friend is condemned to jail for drug trafficking. Rents a studio at the Cable Factory.
World Trade Organization is established to liberalize the global trade. The Army of Republica Srpska executes the Srebrenica massacre. The United Nations peacekeeping mission ends in Somalia and the civil war continues. France announces the resumption of nuclear tests. Ken Saro-Wiwa is hanged by government of Nigeria. Aum Shinrikyo cult attacks the Tokyo subway with sarin gas. Finland joins the European Union and wins the Ice Hockey world championship. Paul McCarthy exhibits Painter. Tracey Emin exhibits Everyone I Have Ever Slept with 1963-1995. Pulp release the album Different Class. Larry Clark premieres Kids.
Shows his art for the first time - the solo exhibition Domestic Porn consists of painted domestic appliances and receives positive critics and a wide media coverage. Applies for the second time to the Academy and is rejected again. Works as vendor in an convenience store but leaves the work after a nervous breakdown. Participates in the national juried exhibition of young artists with three flower paintings. Is elected to the board of the artists' association Muu. Travels to London and sees Jake & Dinos Chapman's exhibition Chapmanworld.
The Talibans establish The Islamic Emirate of Afganistan. Yasser Arafat is elected the first president of the Palestinian National Authority. The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement takes 72 hostages in the Japanese Embassy in Lima. Unabomber is arrested. Rirkrit Tiravanija's exhibits Untitled, 1996 (Tomorrow Is Another Day). Erlend Loe publishes Naive, Super. Aki Kaurismäki premieres Drifting Clouds. Lars von Trier premieres Breaking the Waves. The Spice Girls release Wannabe. Nintendo launches Pokémon.
Applies for the third time to the Academy and is finally accepted. Suffers from the classical training and organizes a student rebellion against the professors. His future best friend and collaborator Jani Leinonen is in the same class.
Tony Blair is elected the prime minster of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom hands sovereignty of Hong Kong to China. McDonald's gains a victory in its libel trial against environmental campaigners. The remains of Che Guevara are returned to Cuba for burial. Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash. Martin Kippenberger dies. Sensation exhibition takes place in London. Takeshi Kitano premieres Hana-bi. Roberto Benigni premieres Life Is Beautiful. Burger King introduces the Big King sandwich.
Begins to work as guide in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, where he is impressed by Bjarne Melgaard's exhibition Everything American Is Evil - The Return to Constantinople. Meets his Spanish future wife in Stockholm when they are visiting the Moderna Museet. In the summer travels to Saint Petersburg and Karelia, from where he family fled during the World War II. Stays in Cuenca the winter as an exchange student. The following years spends more time in Spain than Finland, though he continues studying in Finland. Does the first A4 size drawings but works mainly in the live art. Becomes carnivore again.
Hugo Chávez is elected the president of Venezuela. Bill Clinton is involved in a sexual scandal with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa on all Jews and crusaders. Eric Zonca premieres The Dreamlife of Angels.
Studies in the painting department of the Academy with Henry Wuorila-Stenberg as his professor. Runs with his fellow students an illegal bar in the basement of the Academy. Is more centered in the question how to be an artist and what is the role of artist in the society than in making any artifacts.
NATO launches air strikes against Yugoslavia. Russian invades Chechenia. The world population reaches 6 billion people. The Hello Kitty murder takes place in Hong Kong. The murderer inserts his victim's head into a Hello Kitty doll after decapitating her. The first Big Brother reality show is aired in the Netherlands.
A two months residency organized by the Academy in Berlin. Is heavily impacted at Kunst-Werke by Santiago Sierra's exhibition with asylum seekers in cardboard boxes and Jonathan Meese's installaton with Nazi paraphernalia. In Helsinki, attends a workshop by the Danish artist Tal R, and impersonates him in an interwiew for Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest newspaper in Finland. The article is published with a large foto of him and the newspaper blacklists him for few years. Organizes an exhibition in the gallery of the Academy inlcuding works of fellow artists, imaginary friends and his grandmother. During the next years works also under the pseudonym Görsky Grytvic. Participates in Kassel in a workshop conducted by Okwui Enwezor, the director of Documenta 11.
George W. Bush is elected the president of the United States. The Yes Men do their first pranks. Naomi Klein publishes No Logo. Marjane Satrapi publishes Peresepolis.
Lives in Madrid and works first as assistant in a gallery and later in an exhibition installation company. Curates the exhibition First in, First out, First in, First Serve in Cuenca, where he also participates as extra dancer in La Ribot’s piece. Travels by car from Madrid to Venice to the opening of the Biennale. Doesn’t have an invitation and jumps over the wall of Giardini. Is prepared with a pizza base and cream to pie Harald Szeemann, the curator of the Biennale. During the exhibition Ars 01 at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art works as interpreter of Santiago Sierra. The newspaper Helsingin Sanomat writes a mocking three-page article of him as the revenge of the Tal R incident, which makes him moderately famous in Finland.
The September 11 attacks take place in New York and Washington. The United States invades Afganistan. The G8 summit takes place in Genoa and the antiglobalist protest results with one death and thousand of injuries. Slobodan Milošević is arrested. Wikipedia is launched. Takashi Murakami founds Kaikai Kiki. Michael Landy does Break Down. Manu Chao releases Próxima Estación: Esperanza. Jean-Pierre Jeunet premieres Amélie.
Begins to write articles for Taide, a prestigious Finnish art magazine. Graduates from the Academy. One of the pieces of his degree show installation is his mother’s cocker spaniel. Directly after the graduation goes to a residency to London hosted by Camden Arts Centre and Delfina Studios, where he he thinks that it's not that difficult to be rich and famous. Exhibits together with Jani Leinonen at Helsinki Art Museum, which buys his works, and participates in the Fourth Triennale of Finnish Photography at Amos Anderson Art Museum. Visits Alhambra in Granada.
East Timor gains independence from Indonesia. Hu Jintao becomes the leader of China. Iran bans the advertising of the United States products. The International Criminal Court is established. Over a hundred people are killed in an attack aimed at the Miss World contestants in Nigeria. Chun Sue publishes Beijing Doll. Gurinder Chadha premieres Bend it like Beckham. The reality show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is aired.
Travels around the Balkans with Katja Tukiainen and Niko Luoma for a project that consist of glueing racist posters illegally on the walls. Sells 19 drawings to a foundation which later donates them to MoMA’s. Paints during the summer in Brussels and Antwerp and later shows the works in Helsinki receiving lots of media attention and negative critics. During the next years travels frequently to Belgium. In the end of the year, moves permanently to Spain and lives first in Pepino, a small village in Toledo, with his parents-in-law. Particpates as an expert in Sarajevo in an intercultural dialog and conflict prevention conference organized by the Council of Europe. Moves to Spain permanently.
The United States invades Iraq. Quentin Tarantino premieres Kill Bill. Sofia Coppola premieres Lost in Translation. Real Madrid buys Davd Beckham.
Lives in Talavera de la Reina. Travels for the first time to America for his New York solo show Everything I Don’t Understand Must Be Sin which is reviewed in The New York Times. The show features his first figurative mural. In the end of the year spends with Jani Leinonen few weeks in Texas. Begins to work with the independent curator Raúl Zamudio who includes him in numerous exhibition during the next years. Writes columns for Ylioppilaslehti, a prestigious publicaton of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki. Decorates with his art a reception given by the president of Finland Tarja Halonen for the king of Belgium Albert II in Brussels.
Al-Qaeda suicide bombers attack Madrid commuter trains. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is elected the prime minister of Spain and he withdraws the Spanish troops from Iraq. Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in Iraq is revealed. The Indian Ocean Tsunami kills hundreds of thousands people. Chechen terrorists take over 1000 child hostages in a school in Beslan. The artist Steve Kurtz is arrested by the FBI and is suspected of bioterrorism. Thomas Hirschhorn exhibits Swiss-Swiss Democracy. Wim Delvoye establishes Art Farm in China. Melissa P.publishes One Hundred Strokes of the Brush Before Bed. Super Girl singing contest is aired in China.
Gets married and his daughter is born. Settles in Cervera de los Montes, a small village where he reforms an old house. Helps his father-in-law who is cowboy. Works also as a clown, English teacher for bus drivers, guide in a vineyard and all-terrain vehicle instructor. Does his first solo show in Madrid. Makes the first list drawings.
Kuwaiti women are granted the right to vote. The Provisional IRA orders an end to the armed campaign. The Somali pirates begin to seize ships regularly. Rajaa al-Sanea publishes Girls of Riyadh. M.I.A releases Arular.
Travels to Hong Kong and Shenzen, where he stays in a clothing factory, and is impressed by the Chinese culture and economy. Participates in the exhibition of the Spanish young artists organized by the government. The Riiko Sakkinen website is launched.
Saddam Hussein is executed. Hamas wins the elections in Palestine. Israel invades Lebanon. Evo Morales is elected the president of Bolivia. Augosto Pinochet is arrested and dies. Zinedine Zidane headbutts Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final. Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno premiere Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
Stays two months in Tokyo as artist-in-residence investigating Hello Kitty and image clubs. His work Human Rights Damage our Economy is censored in a group show in Beijing. Several works are acquired by Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.
The global financial crisis begins. China signs economic deals with Sudan. Russiaresumes the flight exercises of its strategic bombers in remote areas. Nepal abolishes the monarchy. Michael Wallinger exhibits State Britain.
Exhibits at the Finnish Cultural Institute in Sweden and demands in the interviews an official apology of the Swedih government for colonializing Finland in the past. Teaches in several universities in Finland his Survival Kit for Young Artists. Does his first solo shows in Paris and Berlin. Travels to South Korea to execute the installation We Love Samsung and Kim-Il Sung at the Yeosu Internatonal Art Festival. The work causes a huge media attention, an investigation by the police and demonstrations demanding censorship, what finally is done. Travels for an exhibition to Chicago when Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States.
Kosovo declares independence from Serbia. Israel invades Gaza. Radovan Karadžić is arrested. Fidel Castro announces his resignation as President of Cuba. Rising food and fuel prices trigger riots in the Third World. Demonstrations by Tibetan separatists turn violent. Xiaolu Guo publishes 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth. Danny Boyle premieres Slumdog Millionaire.
Stays in Helsinki preparing with Jani Leinonen works for their major museum show Jani and Riiko’s Free World at Amos Anderson Art Museum. Makes also an installation at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Becomes an art celebrity in Finland and appears in numerous magazines and TV talk shows. Speaks in the interviews about communism where everybody drives a BMW as his utopia. Curates the exhibition Trickle-down Theory with the works of almost one hundred artists around the world. Exhibits and sells an installation at Art Basel art fair where he has dinner with the model Naomi Campbell. Spends the summer in Beijing, where he executes a series of collaborative paintings with Judas Arrieta. Participates in the 798 Beijing Biennale. Travels to the Maldives for an unsuccessful project that is never completed.
Bolivia declares the right of indigenous people to govern themselves. Ai Weiwei is beaten up by the Chinese police and later operated for an internal bleeding. Michael Jackson dies.
Founds Turbo Realism, a new art movement and forms the Deadly Viper Painting Squad. Exhibits his first neon work in Málaga. His entire show of list drawings is acquired by the Helsinki Art Museum. Receives a monthly grant for the Art Council of Finland for two years. His drawing Secrets of Sexy Cooking is exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Riiko Sakkinen Image Club, the first important monograph, is published. His son is born.
An earthquake kills hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti. Spain wins the World Cup in South Africa. Tao Lin publishes the novel Richard Yates.
Exhibits in Monterrey, Mexico, the focal point of the drug violence. Spends one month in Syria during the uprising. Exhibits Syrian works in Madrid. All his hotel drawings are acquired by the Rich Collection.
Arab Spring uprisings occur in the Arab world. Osama bin Laden is shot dead by the Navy SEALs. An earthquake hits Japan causing a nuclear power plant accident. IMF´s Dominique Strauss-Khan is arrested in New York and charged with the sexual assault of a hotel housekeeper. Kim Jong-un becomes leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Ai Weiwei is arrested. Jani Leinonen kidnaps Ronald McDonald.
Travels to Damascus and exhibits there during the civil war. Does active propaganda for the secular and multicultural Syria, both in the country during the visit and later abroad. Exhibits Syrian works in Helsinki.
Israel attacks the Gaza Strip. Bo Xilai is expelled from the Communist Party of China. The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Mursi becomes president of Egypt.
Joins the Communist Party of Spain. Begins to write monthly columns for Finnish Cult24 magazine. Hides money in a public library in Helsinki. Curates with Jani Leinonen Homelessness Fair. Does a two-month residency in Beirut. Paints 57 Varieties which is exhibited in the Carnegie Art Award in Stockholm. Pulls out a work from an exhibition in France when its government threatens to bomb Syria.
Edward Snowden discloses operations engaged by a US government mass surveillance program to news publications. Nelson Mandela dies.
Completes a series of big hand painted Talavera plates and exhibits them at Arco art fair in Madrid and Helsinki. Solo show MuNA - Museum of No Art at the new Serlachius Museum in Finland.
ISIS declares the Caliphate. Russia annexes Crimea. War in Ukraine.
First exhibition at Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki. Resigns from the Communist Party of Spain. Moves from Cervera de los Montes to Pepino, the neighbouring village, where he builds a house. Exhibits black monochrome paintings in Stockholm in an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Malevich's Black Square.
First museum solo shows outside of Finland at Bury Art Museum in the UK and Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. Supports the dictatorship of intellectuals, the hegemony of poest and philosophers. Travels with Serlachius Museum's director Pauli Sivonen to Ceuta, Melilla, Lesvos, Calais Jungle and the Balkans following the routes of refugees and migrants.