“ Life begins with an inhale and ends with an exhale.
In-between we all breathe and live different lives.
And yet, each breath keeps us together, connected, sharing the same air. ”

Jeppe Hein

Canvas with Breath Stripes

Breathing Watercolour by Jeppe Hein

Breathing Watercolours

Conscious breathing became an important element in my new life, after I experienced a personal breakdown almost ten years ago. The awareness with my breath enables me to balance out the body and mind in all circumstances of life. A crucial example of this balance can be found in my work entitled Breathing Watercolours. Breath guides the strokes of the watercolour, to create a repetitive pattern of vertical blue stripes painted onto a white paper or wall. Each line represents one breath stroke. The colour is intense and vigorous at the beginning of each stroke, but gradually fades towards the bottom. Each stripe signifies the process of breathing in or breathing out in full awareness.

Initially, I painted Breathing Watercolours by myself – as part of my watercolour diary or as huge wall paintings. Then I began to ask visitors of my solo exhibitions to join in painting their breath on the museum’s walls too. In doing so, I try to encourage people to focus on their body and mind at the present moment and to enter into an inner dialogue. By painting their own breath onto a medium, they will not only be able to experience their breath, body and mind in the here and now, but also be part of a collectively experienced moment with their environment.

Jeppe painting at his desk

Jeppe Hein painting Breathing Watercolours on paper

Jeppe painting a wall

Jeppe Hein painting Breathing Watercolours on a wall

Breathe with Me are Breathing Watercolours painted by the public that visualise the invisible - our breath and the resultant relation between us - reminding us to cooperate if we want to share this world together today and in the future. Ideally, it will encourage people to conspire, as (lat.) con-spirare means to breathe together.

So, please breathe with me. Inhale. Hold. Exhale …

Jeppe Hein

Jeppe Hein on Breathe with Me

“ We are here
today to breathe... ”

Visitor painting 01

Visitor painting Breathing Watercolours on exhibition walls

“ So inspiring to be part of this art.
Thank you. ”

Visitor painting 02

Visitor painting Breathing Watercolours on exhibition walls

“ Visible breath - what a wonderful gift - merci. ”

Visitor painting 03

Visitor painting Breathing Watercolours on exhibition walls

“ To consciously breathe, to move, to be! ”

Visitor painting 04

Breathing Watercolours, exhibition view KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, 2017

“ Inhaling - exhaling - holding the breath - enjoying the summer. Touching with an immanent lightness despite the different life situations. ”