The tree (2001) Hans Lemmen
De Groene Passage shopping complex consists of entrepreneurs who want to harmonize people and their environment; a people and environmentally friendly shopping center. The entrepreneurs wanted a work of art with the controversial relationship between man and nature as the theme. The Maastricht artist Hans Lemmen has translated this request from the client into a work of art that literally seeks contact with the passer-by, because he made a tree that offers a warm hand. Due to a heating element, the hand is always 37 degrees, body temperature. It's a somewhat literal, almost obvious way of getting the client's message across. Lemmen took the tree as a symbol of life force and steadfastness. If a tree can fully develop, it will transcend a lifetime. The tree stands on the sidewalk in front of the Green Passage, among other trees. In this way it enhances the space as well as the appearance of the shopping center. The artwork gives intimacy and humanity. The shiny bronze shows that the outstretched hand of The tree is actually adopted. Although not entirely intended as such, the image fits into the image of Rotterdam, which strives for greenery on the streets and has been in the race for titles as 'the greenest city in the Netherlands'. It also fits in a series of 'artificial trees' in Rotterdam.
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.