Volunteers pose nude for US art photographer Spencer Tunick in Kuopio, Finland, on a summer night on July 15, 2023. LEHTIKUVA


Hundreds of Finnish people stripped off their clothes and gathered on the streets and beaches of Kuopio in central Finland for a unique art project in the early hours of a bright Nordic night. The renowned American photographer Spencer Tunick, known for his captivating art featuring crowds of nude individuals, orchestrated the event.

As the clock struck 3:00 am on Saturday, nearly a thousand naked participants flocked to the designated locations.

Guided by loudspeakers broadcasting instructions, they prepared themselves to strike poses for Tunick's camera. The photographer, acclaimed for his ability to capture the beauty and vulnerability of the human form, expressed his excitement about the project. "Today the land of 1,000 lakes has been retitled the land of 1,000 nudes," Tunick told AFP, emphasizing the transformation of the cityscape into a temporary artistic masterpiece.

The photo shoot commenced in the parks of central Kuopio, where the participants found themselves amidst vibrant flower installations. They occupied the paved pathways, creating a unique juxtaposition between nature and the human body. From there, the crowd made its way to the rocky beaches of the surrounding lake, with some individuals immersing themselves halfway into the water, lying naked on the rocks. Tunick's intention was to connect the human body to the essence of Kuopio and the breathtaking Lakelands of northern Finland.

The artist expressed his gratitude towards the brave volunteers who made his artistic vision a reality. These individuals responded to Tunick's invitation to disrobe in the serene setting of the Nordic night, demonstrating their willingness to become part of the creative process. Tunick highlighted the rarity of such an opportunity for the public to actively contribute to the act of creation itself.

This was not the first time Tunick brought his unique artistic vision to a public space. In November, thousands of people shed their clothes on Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach, participating in an art installation aimed at raising awareness about skin cancer and sun safety. In another headline-grabbing event in 2016, more than a hundred women stripped and posed naked with mirrors in Cleveland, responding to Tunick's call to blend art with politics and symbolically portray Donald Trump as unfit for the White House.

The recent art project in Kuopio added another chapter to Tunick's extensive body of work, showcasing his ability to create awe-inspiring and thought-provoking imagery with nude participants. The photos captured in this Finnish city will undoubtedly contribute to the artist's ongoing exploration of the human form in natural and public environments.

In the early hours of the Nordic night, Kuopio transformed into an open-air art gallery, celebrating the beauty and vulnerability of the human body. Through his unique lens, Spencer Tunick once again showcased his talent for capturing the essence of his subjects and their surroundings.