German artist Hans Hemmer was very clear about his reason for wanting to become an artist. “I wanted to say something, which I could not say in words,” he commented in an interview with Sara Arvidsson.
Hemmer uses balloons to make his art, or as he explains it: air is his medium. The balloon tank was installed at the Staedtische Galerie in 2007. Titled “German Panther,” the tank slowly deflated over time, the piece’s impermanence resulting in an amorphous grouping of deflated balloons. In another series of pieces, Hemmer used large-scale balloons in canary yellow to transform spaces and interact with objects in strange ways.
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“War tanks, cathedrals and canons are symbols of power and oppression. When these visual shapes are made of colorful balloons, you start to smile and laugh at it. It is difficult and exhausting to find words and arguments against a war tank, but it’s freeing to find images against it,” said the artist.