Danish artist paints our traces

Morten Lassen works in many layers on each painting. Photo: private
Morten Lassen works in many layers on each painting. Photo: Søren Solkær

The Danish painter Morten Lassen is having his second solo exhibition in Singapore. This time the theme is the digital traces we constantly leave behind

There’s a heavy scent of freshly painted walls and they are all white. The only thing adorning the walls is the paintings – the main attraction. We are at the art gallery Artspace 222 where the Danish artist Morten Lassen is exhibiting his new series of paintings called Trace.

It’s the day before the big day that I visit Morten Lassen at the gallery. The last preparations are being handled and the mood seems calm and casual. He has plenty of time to talk to me about his new paintings, his old paintings, art in general and Singapore.

His new exhibition, Trace, is about the digital traces we constantly leave behind, and the digital traffic, we can’t see, has been his interest for a quite a while now.

“The last five or six years, I’ve been working with the idea of the things that surround us in the air, but we can’t see – Wi-Fi, the Internet, GPS. Then I thought, ‘what would it look like, if we could see it?’ Not in a technical matter, just how it would make us feel, “ Morten Lassen says.

Facebook knows where we are
He therefore made two exhibitions called Wireless and Surrounded. This time the focus is on the invisible traces that we all leave behind and which float around in the air – invisible to the human naked eye.

“No matter where we are in the world there will always be people who know it. We live in a digital world where we leave traces everywhere. Facebook probably knows that we are talking right now,” Morten Lassen says followed by a small laughter.

“I think it’s interesting that we have a world around us which, if we could see it, would be insane. If it was visual, we wouldn’t be able to see each other. But my paintings are not an exact description, it’s more a sense of how it would feel like,” he explains while pointing at different details on some of the paintings.

All part of a puzzle
The gallery is divided in to four rooms with an open hallway connection them all. The natural light fading in and the white walls create a bright atmosphere where the paintings are in focus. As we walk by the different abstract paintings, it could seem as if they’re not too different at all.

“It’s true, they look much alike, but it’s because they are all pieces in a puzzle. They separate in construction, colours and mood,” Morten Lassen explains and adds that he works on all the paintings at the same time.

They all share a common thread. But they’re also abstract which means that you probably wouldn’t know that it’s about digital traces unless you are told so. And that is fine with Morten Lassen, because if people see something completely else that’s no problem, as long as they get something out of it. The most important thing for him is to share his wonder and fascination through shapes and colours.

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