Be aware of the small sensation

I meet Jeppe Hein in the former Koenig gallery that is now his studio in Berlin which he runs with his 20 strong team to work on many different international projects at the same time. The last weeks had been busy as Jeppe Hein is this year’s artist given Carte Blanche from the Champagne house RUINART. He just returned from Paris for the opening of his exhibition at Palais de Tokyo and from the Biennale in Venice to be back in Berlin for the Gallery Weekend

Jeppe Hein

IRMA: Did you do your breathing exercise today?
JEPPE HEIN: Of course, I do it every morning after my yoga class and meditation.

IRMA: Why is it so important to breath properly?
JEPPE HEIN: It is important because the way you breath reflects yourself. You can manipulate your breath and get a lot out of it. It is that very small moment between breathing in and out that is a small sensation.

Artwork by Jeppe Hein for Ruinart

IRMA: How do you create this sensation in your art.
JEPPE HEIN: I would like to open the hearts of other people with my art. That’s why it’s all about reflection, touch and feeling to get involved and get people to get creative. The moment you step out of your comfort zone, life begins.
For example, when I was in Venice last week, I noticed that the visitors to my exhibition were very exhausted in the evening. Tired from all the art they’d been looking at during the day. So I gave them a piece of chalk so they could draw something to look at their reflection and suddenly they were a part of it and they became happy and grateful.

Jeppe Hein and chef Björn Swanson. Picture courtesy Maison Ruinart, © Jan Strempel Photography 2022

IRMA: You visited the cellars in Reims three times and what thought, which object had the most impact on you?
JEPPE HEIN: Upon entering the basement, the smell of wet chalk was a great impression. The deeper you went into the basement, the more intense it got. But also, the whole process from looking at the soil, the sun, the weather, the harvest, to the bottling and labelling was fascinating. Now I have a real understanding of the value of a glass of champagne and the people involved in making it.
I took some chalk with me because I was fascinated that this piece is millions of years old and you can draw with it.

IMpressions from Jeppe Hein’s studio in Berlin

IRMA: Will that influence your future work
JEPPE HEIN: Yes, it will. For example, I’ve been invited to participate in an exhibition in Stockholm, where I and other artists will create the art on site due to the inability to transport goods due to the pandemic. I’m pretty sure I’ll bring a piece of chalk with me.

IRMA: Tell me something about the FOOD FOR ART experience.
JEPPE HAIN. Every year, Ruinart brings together different chefs with an artist and together they create their experience. This year it’s Björn Swanson from Faelt Berlin, a Michelin Star chef, who has created a vegetarian menu accompanied by Ruinart champagne for the Gallery Weekend experience.
We sat down and talked about ideas on taste, how to experience the food and how to create the plates. I brought in the concept of different colours and shapes that I also used for Ruinart in the exhibition RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. It will be a unique experience, visually and sensationally.

“Coloured walls and speech-bubbles” by Jeppe Hein, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW for Ruinart. Picture courtesy Maison Ruinart, © Jan Strempel Photography 2022

IRMA: What would you like to achieve with your art?
JEPPE HEIN: I want to open people’s hearts.

Chalk from the Ruinart cellar in Reims

IRMA: If your artwork would be food, what would it taste like?
JEPPE HEIN: It would taste of empathy.

“Speech Bubble” for Ruinart by Jeppe Hein

IRMA: And which Ruinart champagne would be the best to enjoy while experiencing the exhibition this weekend in Berlin?
JEPPE HEIN: A glass of Ruinart Rosé, it is fresh, joyful, and light.
But as you can see, the Speech Bubbles in the exhibition are all coloured white, rose and gold, just like the different champagnes.

Jeppe Hein working on the limited edition Ruinart box. Picture courtesy Maison Ruinart, © Jan Strempel Photography 2022


Jeppe Hein and Jasmin Khezri from IRMASWORLD at the studio


On April 29th and 30th, visitors can experience a unique and interactive “Food for Art” dinner at the exclusive Ruinart pop-up restaurant, created by Michelin-starred chef @bjoern.swanson and inspired by Jeppe Hein’s art installation “Right Here, Right Now”.

Here is the link to reserve your place at the dinner

Studio Jeppe Hein
Dessauer Straße 6-7
10963 Berlin

open to the public:
April 29 – May 1
11am – 5pm