Today, eight years after Rönkkönen’s death, Veijo Rönkkönen Sculpture Garden remains intact, drawing some 25,000 visitors annually. They flock to the site to explore the property’s eerie landscape, where concrete figures perch along dirt roads, balance in yoga poses, and stand frozen in dark corners across the forest. Their gazes range from intent to vacant, and their expressions from ecstatic to aggressive. Some have mouths filled with real human teeth, while speakers buried inside their bodies emit incomprehensible sounds. Others are blanketed in green moss, or sprout flowers from their stomachs.
The effect is mysterious and intriguing—as if the sculptures might spring to life, shaking off their cloaks of weeds and leaves, at any moment.
Upon entering Rönkkönen’s garden, visitors are greeted by a motley crowd of figures. Among them is a nun, a shirtless man in traditional Finnish dress, a little boy in overalls, and a woman wearing a jaunty sun hat. A fellow resembling Abe Lincoln sticks his tongue out, while others extend their arms up, as if entreating passersby to enter.