Born in 1983, in Järvenpää, Finland, Anna-Maija Rissanen is a Belgian-Finnish landscape painter who focuses mainly on painting inner meditative landscapes of water and rock, between western and eastern representation, between abstract and figurative. In 2009, Rissanen graduated with an MA in Fine Arts from the Royal Fine-Arts Academy of Brussels and also qualified as an art teacher. From 2012-2013, she studied techniques of traditional Chinese painting at the China Art Academy in Hangzhou.
Rissanen has taken part in several solo and group exhibitions across Europe and China, including Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Helsinki, London, Mannheim, Guangzhou, Beijing, Arnheim and Viljandi. In 2019, she organised her fourth big solo exhibition with great success in Gallery Bronda, which received over two thousand visitors. From 2009 to 2019, Rissanen has had 19 solo exhibitions and taken part in over 40 group shows including art fairs and competitions both international and Finnish.
Rissanen is also a teacher. She teaches basics of traditional Chinese art and western art to adults in Finland. She is also a travel guide, bringing groups of people to China, teaching them basics of Chinese art and customs. Rissanen is also an active citizen, taking part in different local associations towards developing the cultural sector in Järvenpää. She is also the president of local Art’s association, member of Finland’s Painters Union, and president of the local Junior chamber International.
Rissanen experiments with different techniques in her works, often mixing Western and Eastern pictorial conventions. She frequently paints from a bird’s-eye perspective, thus facilitating a visual journey between the details and the whole landscape extending towards the horizon. Landscapes are not limited to a specific place, but rather have elements that evoke many different places. She tries to paint the feeling she has in a landscape rather than the exact view. She tries not to be too obvious about what is represented and always leave room for the viewer’s own imagination and memories of the landscape. For her it is important to make landscapes that are universal, that can touch and go beyond cultural boundaries.