A smile for you – Jeppe Hein

© Per Kristiansen
© Per Kristiansen

Bonniers Konsthall is proud to present this year’s guest artist and the first major solo exhibition in Sweden with acclaimed artist Jeppe Hein. Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s installations and sculptures play with our sensory experiences and let the audience take an active role. When visitors approach what may seem to be a familiar thing, like a mirror, they encounter something unexpected. In Light Pavilion a person peddling on a stationary bicycle activates the unfolding of a bright trail of lights into a circus tent. In You everyone trying to look through a hole in the wall meets a reflection of his own eye.

© Per Kristiansen
© Per Kristiansen

“I would like to think that happiness looks like that whale, that it’s always swimming around under the surface, and now and then it looks up and becomes visible.” Jeppe Hein’s work rests on a humble anti-hierarchical approach with an open door to Western art history as well as other traditions. Within his work, Hein makes references to minimalism and its use of industrial materials and space, as well as the importance of the viewer for completion of the work. In this exhibition, there are also clear influences of Eastern culture, such as meditation, yoga and Zen Buddhism, which are apparent in the new works Hein has created specifically for the gallery. Visitors entering the gallery will release hanging balls that run a dynamic track passing different singing bowls that start to sound whenever a ball touches them, thus creating a vibrating soundscape.

© Per Kristiansen
© Per Kristiansen

In A Smile for You, Bonniers Konsthall takes a larger grip on Jeppe Hein’s oeuvre. Hundreds of watercolors hang in the exhibition center, painted by Jeppe Hein at a time when he was burned out. They are a form of diary in which the viewer can follow the artist from a deep state of depression to the first signs of recovery. The vulnerability found in the paintings alters the reading of the exhibition as a whole, and also presents a decisive shift in Jeppe Hein’s practice.

© Per Kristiansen
© Per Kristiansen
 “Some works will appeal to the visitor’s senses; others will demand their active involvement. Some will create a funny situation engaging people to start a dialogue with each other; others will face the viewer with essential questions that they can only answer on their own. All of them will offer people a moment of being “right here right now“ and a smile on the face.”
© Per Kristiansen
© Per Kristiansen
The exhibition A Smile for You is part of a larger collaboration between the artist Jeppe Hein, Bonniers Konsthall and Wanås Art. In a poster campaign, Jeppe Hein asks the public questions such as ‘what is happiness to you?’ and ‘how does it smell, taste, and feel?’. A selection of answers will be presented in the exhibitions at Bonniers Konsthall and Wanås Art. The collaboration also includes a joint publication, published by Walther König Verlag.
© Per Kristiansen
© Per Kristiansen
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