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Created and Sold by Hans Martin Øien

Hans Martin Øien
This is An Old Book | Sculptures by Hans Martin Øien | Jatta high school, department Hinna in Stavanger
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This is An Old Book - Sculptures

Featured In Jatta high school, department Hinna, Stavanger, Norway

The material is 5 water-cut corten steel plates that draw large circles as if they overlap, but all lie in the same two-dimensional plane and form an optical illusion. The circles have a random juxtaposition. The circles are a repetition of the circles in the other artworks of the school.
The book from which the text ("this is an old book") is taken from an combined almanac and prayer book from 1613. The book's almanac is identical to the first printed matter printed in Norway. The printing plates for the Danish almanac from 1613 were used when the almanac was reprinted in Christiania in 1641. This almanac was the first printed matter in Norway. On the inside of the book's cover, it is clear that a previous owner has practiced writing and has written "1760 this is an old book" thus the book was already old in 1760. For centuries this type of books was the only literature to be found in private homes in Norway.

Corten steel plates are attached to a steel frame bolted to the wall. The frame is like a grid that keeps the plates at a uniform distance from the wall and allows the plates to cast shade. The frame is also constructed so that it is not visible behind the Corten.

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Hans Martin Øien
Meet the Creator
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.