Jeppe Hein with his piece Breathe With Me (2019) at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Photo courtesy of the artist and ART2030.
Jeppe Hein (born 1974 in Copenhagen, Denmark) is a Danish artist based in Berlin and Copenhagen. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in Copenhagen and the Städel Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt a. M.
The artist is widely known for his production of experiential and interactive artworks that can be positioned at the junction where art, architecture, and technical inventions intersect. Unique in their formal simplicity and notable for their frequent use of humor, his works engage in a lively dialogue with the traditions of Minimalist sculpture and Conceptual art of the 1970s. Jeppe Hein’s works often feature surprising and captivating elements which place spectators at the centre of events and focus on their experience and perception of the surrounding space.
In June 2021, Therme Art commissioned the artistic project Today I Feel Like… Manchester by Berlin-based Danish artist Jeppe Hein, as part of a collaboration with Manchester International Festival (MIF). This first partnership between Manchester International Festival and Therme Art highlighted a strong commitment to education and participation, using creativity as a tool to engage with local communities. By inviting school children to engage with and share their feelings, the project aimed to bring greater awareness to young people’s mental wellbeing, as well as to facilitate a collective healing process, encouraging communities in Manchester to come together.
TODAY I FEEL LIKE…
Today I Feel Like… began as a question that artist Jeppe Hein asked himself daily, accompanied by a spontaneous self-portrait in his watercolour diary, as a way to engage more deeply with his own feelings and sense of self. Now, Hein has opened this question to the public, inviting participants of his workshops to reflect on how they feel and to paint a corresponding self-portrait. In doing so, participants are able to contemplate their emotional landscapes and are granted a space in which to express themselves. Concurrently, larger collections of self-portraits created in their way portray life in its complexity, reflecting the varying moods of the moment.
Together with Therme Art, Hein developed an artistic workshop held in local schools across Manchester, inviting children to take part in breathing exercises followed by painting faces that depicted their feelings in the present. The artworks were displayed on Festival Square during the 2021 edition of MIF, and intended to be installed as tiles on permanent display at the new Therme Manchester wellbeing resort. The participatory project was conceived to create a permanent connection between Therme Manchester and the young people in the community that it will serve.
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