Very cool new piece of public art in Oslo: “Grass Roots Square”, in front of government building R6 (Teatergata). It consists of 50,000 tiny statues embedded into the stones of the walkway, inviting people to walk atop them.
The artist is Korean-born Do Ho Suh, and while this piece has come to symbolize a lot more since the 22/7 terror attacks of 2011, it was actually commissioned in 2010 through an art competition. Through these tiny figures Suh wanted to show not only diversity and solidarity, but also that government is meant to serve the people. “They stand together, and lift and carry together,” said the artist to Dagbladet.
From Kunst i offentlige rom (“Art in Public Spaces”):
Do Ho Suh takes the outer corner of the paved square as a starting point and has proposed the planting of a tree there. Between and partly replacing the paving stones in this area, he will place a number of 8-10 cm high human figures in green patinated bronze, like blades of grass sprouting up among the stones. From above this creates a playful geometric pattern across the square. The figures are individually formed and represent diversity in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and occupational categories. The intention is that pedestrians can walk over the figures and use the raised stones for seating.