Hon as Mother of the Euroregion


HEERLEN, NETHERLANDS, 10 FEBRUARY 2011 — On the occasion of the exhibition “Niki de Saint Phalle: Outside-In,” SCHUNCK* Heerlen in the Netherlands has organized, in collaboration with VIA 2018 / Maastricht Candidate European Capital of Culture 2018, a unique “Hon-inspired project” within the Euroregion.

One of the most legendary projects of Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) was her famous “Hon – a Cathedral” for the Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1966. Hon was a gigantic reclining female figure, a kind of “earth mother” 28 meters long, carried out in Niki’s characteristic Nana style of that time. But Hon was more than a giant Nana sculpture. Through the vagina, visitors could gain access to the interior of “Hon,” where they could visit an exhibition space, a small movie theatre, a planetarium, an aquarium and a “milkbar.”

Curious about the form and content of a 21st-century Hon, we challenged high school students from seven different schools in the Euroregion to design a sculpture and its content inspired by the Hon.

An expert jury has visited all schools on January 19 and 20 and selected Institut Saint-Laurent in Liège as the winner. They created a contemporary polar bear named “Tosca.” This she-bear enables visitors to experience her interior and makes you think about the environment, birth, and sustainability.

The participating schools are:

  • Institut Saint-Laurent (Liège, Belgium)
  • Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium (Aachen, Germany)
  • KTA2 Villers (Hasselt, Belgium)
  • Rombouts College (Brunssum, Netherlands)
  • Robert Schuman Institut (Eupen, Belgium)
  • Sophianum College (Wittem, Netherlands)
  • Trevianum (Sittard, Netherlands)

The winning design will be executed life-size and can be admired and enjoyed from late March up to mid-June 2011 at the Pancratiusplein in Heerlen.

The exhibition “Niki de Saint Phalle: Outside-In” will be on display at SCHUNCK* from February 26 through June 19, 2011. For more information, see www.schunck.nl.