16 JUNE – 18 JULY 2021
“Art can be very appealing for people, creating joyful situations as well as relaxing moments and opportunities for interaction with other people. I believe if an artwork puts a smile on your face and gets you in high spirits, it even makes your life better – at least momentarily.” - Jeppe Hein
The Danish artist Jeppe Hein (*1974) deals extensively with questions of perception and consciousness in his work. His sculptures and installations are stylistically reminiscent concepts of Minimal Art, but they are often interwoven with a performative aspect. Hein’s works often feature surprising and captivating elements which place spectators at the center of events and stimulate the interaction between art and the viewer.
Yoga, meditation and the confrontation with his own physical and psychological condition have played a major role in Hein's life since a personal crisis a few years ago. This struggle led to a shift in his artistic practice towards using his works as vehicles for posing questions upon himself and his viewers. For instance, the writings in the neon boxes, quite literally hold up a mirror to the viewer, encouraging self-contemplation with phrases such as BREATHE WITH ME or I AM RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW.
The watercolor works were created specifically for the exhibition at KÖNIG SEOUL. Following the concept of a painterly meditation they reflect on Hein's relation with his own work. The pictorial drawings, excerpts of text records and short scraps of thought are an invitation to start a dialogue between work and viewer.
For Hein, shared experiences are a central component to his art and philosophy of life. An expression of the artist’s exploration of social interaction is his series of MODIFIED SOCIAL BENCHES. The basic structure is taken from common park or garden benches, but the artist transforms it to such an extent that sitting becomes a physical challenge. The bench is deprived of its basic characteristic as a piece of seating furniture, and instead it becomes a place of playful interaction. Three of these benches can be experienced on KÖNIG SEOUL’s rooftop terrace and in the gallery space.
Perception and perspective are recurring motifs in Hein's oeuvre, which is evident in his various mirror works. A particular challenge to the viewer’s visual perception are the works in the FOLD series. They are based on the Kawasaki theorem, which explores how a crease pattern with a single vertex can be folded to create a flat shape. This results in those seemingly plain mirrors that reveal their sculptural character only at second glance, refracting and distorting the environment and the viewer's gaze. Similarly, MIRROR ANGLE FRAGMENTS offers unfamiliar perspectives on the surrounding space, and the LIGHT DROPS reflect not only their environment, but also the lights mounted on them. Standing below the colored MIRROR BALLOONS, the viewer perceives his surroundings from a fish-eye perspective. Hovering above the heads, seemingly only the ceiling prevents these balloons from soaring up into the sky, expanding the reflection to the infinite.
© Images Cheonho Ahn