Enni-Kukka Tuomala is a Finnish artist based in London. She is the world’s first empathy artist. Her vision is to transform empathy from an individual feeling to a radical and collective power for change to fight the growing global empathy deficit.
Through installations and public interventions, collaborative projects, environments and tools Tuomala strives to bridge the growing divides in our society, both between humans, and humans and other species.
Tuomala’s multidisciplinary and research-based practice investigates the delicate relationships between empathy, culture, systems and space. At the core of her work are sculptural and spatial artworks that imagine new environments for connection, invite interaction and create intimate moments with oneself, others, and our natural environment. After years of focusing on interpersonal empathy, she has begun exploring interspecies empathy between humans and non-humans.
Since 2018 Tuomala has been examining the relationship between empathy and power, and the role of empathy in communities. The work began through a partnership with the Parliament of Finland and a collaborative creative process with six Members of Parliament from different political parties to create Empatia Ele: empathy tools for politics (2018-19), a collection of physical empathy tools and artworks. The upcoming Campaign for Empathy x Kurkimäki is a part of this growing body of work and research.
Enni-Kukka Tuomala’s work has been shown at Tate Liverpool (2022), Royal Geographical Society (2022), Puistokatu 4 (2022), Kettle’s Yard (2021), The Design Museum (2021), Somerset House (2021), Nunnery Gallery (2021), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2019-20) amongst others. In 2021 she represented Finland at the London Design Biennale 2021 with the Empathy Echo Chamber installation, produced in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland and The Embassy of Finland in London. Over a thousand visitors stepped inside the artwork to share an intimate experience with a stranger. Tuomala is currently working with The Finnish Forest Museum Lusto on a new commission on ‘forest empathy’ for the museum’s upcoming permanent exhibition opening in the spring of 2024. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London, and the University of Oxford.