I really like the work of Hundertwasser. A visionary artist, who loved natural forms and pleaded that everybody must be creative. He has created vibrant paintings full of colors, shapes and patterns. He has built colorful, irregular, playful buildings.
As I read a book about KunstHausWien, that houses Hundertwasser’s work, I find an ode to trees. And not just trees in general. Trees that are growing inside. Inside the home. Hundertwasser has built KunstHausWien with ten ‘tree tenants’. The trees are planted inside and have about one square meter floor space and one cubic meter of soil. And they grow out of the windows. Yes, you read it correctly – the trees grow out of the windows. Seeking sunight, greening the walls and greeting the passers-by.
I smile. I have also planted my own tree inside, not so long ago. I look at my tree, penciled on the wall. It has the contour of a dark grey body and branches venturing to the sides. It has been planted in graphite and grows in my imagination. And from there, my hands move it to the wall.
Although I know some of Hundertwasser’s work, it amazes me that I just found out about the ‘inside trees’, now that I am also growing one. The way Hundertwasser describes his green tenants, is full of love and beauty: they create oxygen, protect like curtains, create shelter, swallow noise. They pay ‘their rent in much more valuable currency than humans do.’
‘The tree tenant is a giver. It is a piece of nature, a piece of homeland, a piece of spontanious vegetation in the anonymus and sterile city desert, a piece of nature which can develop without the rationalistic control of man and his technology.’
As the trees grow inside, ‘beauty and joy of life come back. Living quality is improved by having a piece of nature of one’s own.’
By allowing them in, it is our opportunity to love them again: ‘The tree tenant symbolises a turn in human history because he regains his rank as an important partner of man. The relationship man-tree must again take on religious dimensions.’
I smile at the tree on the wall. Hundertwasser’s text is a true inspiration to make my tree grow further. His words sound like a promise, a blessing, a true manifest: ‘Only if you love your tree like yourself will you survive’.