Created and Sold by Hans Martin Øien

Hans Martin Øien
Homo Ludens | Public Sculptures by Hans Martin Øien | Union scene in Drammen
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Homo Ludens - Public Sculptures

Featured In Union scene, Drammen, Norway

Item details

Entrance hall decoration at Union Scene, Drammen

The sculpture at Union Scene in Drammen depicts a Lego figure carving himself out of a boulder with a hammer and a chisel.

Here, it primarily refers to how man forms the culture and how culture helps to shape us as human beings. Homo ludens is a Latin term meaning the playful man.
The term has been used in several contexts, but mostly when adults "play" in one form or another: in unpretentious sports, through games and the arts.
The sculpture is carved in light yellow granite and is 190 cm high with abase.

Context & Credits

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Hans Martin Øien
Meet the Creator
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Wescover creator since 2020
"Every time I start a new art project I want it to play an important role for its surroundings."

From 1993 until today I have mainly worked with sculpture, installation and art projects in public spaces, as well as producing exhibitions in public galleries and museums.
In collaboration with engineers and craftsmen, I have for the last 15 years realized large scale art projects in different materials.
I have worked with materials such as wood, stone, steel, plastic, aluminum, bronze, copper, concrete, etc.
After a retrospective exhibition at the Haugar Art Museum in 2004, one of my projects has been a series of sculptures called "Lego sculptures". These sculptures have since been exhibited in many places all over Norway, and have been used in public art projects. This was basically an idea where I wanted to use a well known design (Lego minifigure) and reusable materials to create "full size" sculptures with literary references and low material costs. At this point I had been fascinated by how my children played with Lego.
I observed that my boys could play with these characters as girls play with dolls. They could live their experiences and fantasies with the characters and process their life experiences. I decided to do something similar with my sculptures. I wanted to draw the Lego figure into the adult reality and make him big and visible picturing the adult world. This led to a number of exhibitions and eventually projects in the public realm.
It was a relief to be able to emphasize storytelling rather than designing exclusive objects that very few people were interested in. The materials had a marginal significance; my first "Lego sculptures" were built from used veneer plates. Later I have used more traditional sculptural materials such as bronze and stone to draw these figures into an art tradition and to be able to create lasting sculptures that can withstand the Norwegian outdoor climate.
My "Lego sculptures" often deal with adults problems, myths and prejudices, while at the same time referring to the traditional sculpture that appears as a representation of memory.