Jonas Jessen Hansen
Who are you? What do you do?
I’m a multimedia artist working across film, installation and photography.
Where are you from?
I’m from Denmark, but currently living and working in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Your style in 3 words?
Alternative, collaborative, colourful
Your weakness? Your strength?
My weakness is having self-doubt, and my strength is my work ethic.
What makes you different?
I always push myself to continue working on what I like, even if my work isn’t appreciated or liked by some people.
When did you decide to become an artist?
I have always enjoyed working with my hands and learning new things. I initially wanted to work as a documentary photographer, but after doing a photography course at Københavns Film og Foto Skole, I knew that I wanted to pursue the artist path.
What do you find most fascinating about your work?
Trying out things I haven’t done before and seeing the way my work develops.
A few words about your favourite creation?
My latest body of work, titled Liquid landscapes, is a project thematising national symbolism and challenging culturally defined norms about ‘us’ and ‘them’. The idea of national citizenship today has become liquid. It is no longer only a product of your nationality, but a resource to be purchased, traded or revoked. Liquid landscapes are made using temporary tattoos having been displayed on human bodies and stretched out on plexiglass. By taking the shape of human skin, they’re stretched on to the plexiglass taking on their own shape like liquid; like human lives, each one is different, and each one’s experience with their borders is unique. The project in still in the making and hope to have it finished sometime this year, moving on to something new.
Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…
Ai Weiwei, Adam Jeppesen, Max Siedentopf, Thomas Mailander, Thomas Albdorf and many more..
A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?
I have since 2017, worked on a project called Who is? Project together with artist Iman Tajik. We’re currently working on growing the project and wish to have the flag (information below) visiting as many places as possible. We’re mainly looking for support to raise the awareness about the project and help to find spaces/organisations/galleries etc. who could display our flag. If you know anyone or are interested in displaying the flag, send us an email.
Short info about the project: Who is? Project is an ongoing art project which aims to tackle issues around immigration systems and globalisation. The project has been created as a space for open conversation surrounding the current migrant crisis and the rise of nationalisme. Symbolised by a white flag embellished with the words “Who are they? Who are we?”, this project is a comment on the many invisible and visible borders created through history. The flag was first exhibited on World Refugee Day on the 20th of June 2017, a day dedicated to raising awareness of refugees around the world. Since then the flag has been exhibited more than 17 different places – mainly around Europe, but with a few places elsewhere, with venues like Hamburger Kunsthalle (Germany), Gallery of Modern Art (Scotland), Galleri Format (Norway) and 2B Galéria (Hungary) haven previously taken part.
Finish the sentence „More important than my career is…“
Friends, family and my special someone
2019: Where are we going?
Together with my partner, I’m currently working on opening up a gallery/café and with that taking a step into the world of curating. I’ve curated exhibitions in the past, and it has always been a dream of mine to have a space of my own where I can curate the program and meet other talented artists.
When the going gets tough…
Take a break, do something that makes you happy and continue tomorrow.
Your city’s favourite spots?
Saint Clair, Port Chalmers, Al bar and Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Put on your future vision glasses: What direction is our generation moving in, what will our world look like in 50 years?
I feel like nationalism is rising at the moment, but I believe and hope that this will change. I see our generation starting a change where the world and its people start working together and view borders and citizenship in a more transient way.
If the universe is everything and it’s expanding, what is it expanding into?
Tell us about your future plans…
Planning on staying in New Zealand for a couple of years and building my art career, but after that… who knows.
Last but not least: what is your favourite Song?
One last statement please: „Wood or stone, gold or art?“
Wood and art