On 2 June, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset will unveil their most recent project: Han, a male counterpart to Denmark's national icon, The Little Mermaid.
To be installed in the harbour of Elsinore — the historic setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet —, the sculpture has been created in contemporary materials: both the male figure and the stone have been cast in polished stainless steel, mirroring the surroundings in the sculpture's curved surface thereby creating a distorted imagery reminiscent of a psychedelic aesthetic.
Commissioned by the city of Elsinore and funded by The Danish National Arts Council, Han will stand on the harbour in front of the Castle of Kronborg, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The statue depicts a young man positioned on a stone by the seaside — just like his counterpart The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. With true Elmgreen & Dragset chicanery and courtesy of a hydraulic mechanism, the eyes of the sculpture will close for a split second once every hour — just one blink — before it becomes a traditional static statue once more.