Jan Jwan Kurimi (born in 1975) is a Kurdish painter who has been living in Finland since 2005. Jan Jwan was always interested in Finnish mythology, or Kalevala even before he moved to live in Finland.
Back in Syria, he was gifted with an Arabic translation of one of the most important works of the Kalevala in Finnish literature, which inspired him to bring the mythology into his work.
The paintings below belong to a series of work first exhibited in Tampere, Finland in 2013. The theme of the exhibition was “Syyrialainen Katse Kalevalaan”, or “Kalevala from a Syrian’s perspective”.
Most of his paintings are large mixed media works on canvas, depicting the main characters of the Finnish epic.
Seppo Ilmarinen, the Eternal Hammerer, is a god. Yet though he is immortal and capable of creating anything, he is unlucky in love. (How is this relevant to the artist?) Ilmarinen is known within the Kalevala as creating the sky as a large dome.
Lemminkäinen is one of the heroes of the Kalevala, usually depicted as young and good-looking with wavy red hair. On an adventure to the Land of the Dead, Lemminkäinen was killed and torn into pieces. When his mother found out, she reassembled his body piece by piece, knitting the flesh and bones together. With the help of Suonetar, the Goddess of Veins, and a humble bee, she brought him back to life and speech.
Annikki is the sister of llmarinen, whom he cannot make a Sampo until his sister Annikki has fallen in love with the young hard-working Lemminkäinen.
Joukahainen is the rival of the main character, Väinämöinen. After losing a singing contest, he promises his sister Aino to Väinämöinen. Aino’s mother was pleased at the idea of marrying her daughter to such an important and well-born person, but Aino did not want to marry such an old man, so she drowned herself.
However, she returned to taunt the grieving Väinämöinen as a salmon. Joukahainen, still envious of Väinämöinen, then shoots the stag of his rival from under him, plunging him into the waters of Pohjola.
Follow the link to see Jan Jwan’s blog: http://janjwank.blogspot.co.uk/
More of his work: http://goo.gl/Y1YPgI