If you were to arrive in Denmark from the sea at Esbjerg, you would be greeted by Svend Wiig Hansen’s giant sculpture or rather sculptures “Man meets the Sea”, or “Men At Sea”. The monument was built in 1994 for the 100th anniversary of Esbjerg’s independence as a commune and was revealed on 28 October 1995.
The sculptures are meant to depict the encounter of man pure and innocent and the nature. Man when he was just born, is the moment as Wiig Hansen says when everything started to go wrong, when man got dirt on his hands. That’s why Wiig Hansen gave these figures this sterile look which kind of reminds one of a temple, or an Acropolis. The legs were also made so long for that reason, to make them look like columns of a greek temple. It’s also no coincidence that they strongly remind you of the stone faces on the Eastern Islands.
You might wonder why Wiig Hansen build exactly 4 figures, well the revelation is quite underwhelming… he just like the number and thought it had a certain harmony.