The tree (2001) Hans Lemmen
De Groene Passage is a group of entrepreneurs who want to let people and their environment go together in harmony; a human and environmentally friendly shopping center. They wanted a work of art on the controversial relationship between man and nature. The Maastricht artist Hans Lemmen has translated this question from the client into a work of art that literally seeks contact with passers-by: it offers a warm hand. By a heating element the hand is 37 degrees, body temperature. It is a somewhat literal, almost obvious, and at the same time successful way to convey the client's message. Lemmen took The tree as a symbol of life force and steadfastness. If a tree can fully develop, it will transcend human life. In its surroundings on the sidewalk between other trees and behind it the Green Passage, it reinforces the space as well as the appearance of the shopping center. It gives intimacy and humanity. The gleaming bronze shows that the outstretched hand is actually accepted. The image fits, although not entirely intended as such, into the image of Rotterdam that strives for green on the street and has been in the race for titles as 'the greenest city in the Netherlands'. It also fits in with a series of 'artificial trees' that Rotterdam is rich in.
The artist Hans Lemmen (Venlo, 1959), who lives in Belgium and Maastricht, uses universal themes in his work. He processes primordial forms and archetypes. Some regularly recurring themes are: mountain, house, people, animals and trees. He makes both spatial and two-dimensional work. His work has been included in, among others, the collections of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Museum Beelden aan Zee and he has commissioned work for a number of municipalities in Limburg, among others.