Playground Eierplatz Monheim

Jeppe Hein: Playground Eierplatz Monheim, 2022

Danish artist Jeppe Hein has created a place of encounter centrally on Eierplatz square: an artistically designed, colorful playground and an interactive water pavilion invite young and old alike to linger, play and marvel.

In the heart of Monheim Mitte, Jeppe Hein has created one of his popular water features. Its delicate water fountains are arranged in overlapping ovals, thus making humorous reference to the meaning of the name Eierplatz (“Egg Square”). Like walls of water, they rise and fall at ground level in ever-changing, unpredictable constellations. By doing so, they invite children in particular to move around in the spaces thus created and skillfully avoid the water. When playing with the unpredictable dynamics, a communicative exchange arises of its own accord.

When the artist learned that a playground for children was to be built in the immediate vicinity, he immediately had the idea of making it a piece of art, too. To achieve this, Hein combined elements from his earlier work and, for the first time ever, converted them into playground equipment: the bright yellow, whimsically curved benches (“Modified Social Benches”) and the arched lanterns (“Street Lamps”), which can already be found as individual works of art in other cities, now unite to attract attention together. They invite you to swing, slide and climb, while the surrounding seating tempts people to sit and linger. The plants around the edge of the playground and the soft-impact surface trace oval shapes in various shades of green and, like the water pavilion, make formal reference to “Egg Square”.

The overall result is a unique ensemble that becomes a meeting place at the interface of art, design and urban planning. Jeppe Hein’s art is often very true to life and has a strong social dimension that enriches everyday life and brings people together. He wants to “open people’s hearts with playful moments,” as the artist himself explained at the inauguration of his work in Monheim, because: “Art is a language without words; you have to experience and feel it.”

Biography of artist Jeppe Hein

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1974
1997–2003 Studied Fine Arts at the Royal Danish Academy of Art
1999–2000 Study visit at the Städelschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main

Exhibitions (selection)
Sprengel Museum, Hannover
2004 Ludwig Forum, Aachen
2004 P.S.1. MOMA, New York, USA
2005 Centre Pompidou, Paris, Frankreich
2007 Sculpture Center, New York, USA
2010 IMA – Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, USA
2010 PICA – Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, Australien
2012 Neues Museum Nürnberg
2013 Aros Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Dänemark
2015 Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
2015 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australien
2016 Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg
2018 Kunstmuseum Thun, Schweiz
2019 Scai Park, Tokyo, Japan
2020 Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt
2021 MCM Haus, Seoul, Korea
2021 Lenbachhaus, München
2021 Kurgarten Baden-Baden

Awards (selection)
Artist in Residence Atelier Calder, Saché, Frankreich
2010 Grant from the Danish Arts Foundation, Denmark
2012 Robert Jacobsen Prize from the Würth foundation, Germany
2013 Ars Fennica Preis of the Henna and Pertti Niemistö Ars Fennica Art Foundation, Finland
2014 Arkens Kunstpris, Denmark
2018 Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsens Preis, Denmark

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