Utopia, the sixth themed edition of Lille3000, takes place between 14 May and 2 October 2022. The programmation includes over 500 events and 35 exhibitions as well as other events such as installations, conferences, and performances in the city of Lille, its surroundings and the Hauts-de-France region. The events season starts with a psychedelic-tropical opening celebration on Saturday 14 May from 12 pm to 12 am. The 2022 edition centres around forest and nature. Its name Utopia refers to an ideal that is inexistent or inaccessible, interrogating the human-nature relationship in the context of the escalating climate change. 

Lille3000’s mission is to implicate the locals in their daily life by releasing a mobile app that allows the audience to locate all public artworks in the city. Among these artworks you can find sculptures from the series Moss People by artist Kim Simonsson, displayed in Lille and in Roubaix:

Moss People, Kim Simonsson. Vue de « La Rambla – Rue Faidherbe (Lille) » © maxime dufour photographies

The fantastical sculptures are inspired by Nordic mythology and they represent characters that are covered in moss, making them fusion with the world of plants. These creatures of the forest make part of an imaginative utopian community that communicates through a universal sign language. With these giant sculptures, artist Kim Simonsson seeks to make the audience wonder, but also to encourage people to reflect on what the sculptures are and what they are trying to say.

Until present, all Simonsson’s Moss people have been small ceramic sculptures, but on the occasion of Utopia, the characters take over La Rambla in a notably bigger form. 

“For Utopia, the Moss People are wanderers of the Nordic forests. They are gatherers who wear cauliflower shoes, and sometimes hats to protect them from bad weather.” – Kim Simonsson

Kim Simonsson has been passionate about sculpture since childhood and he studied design and architecture at Aalto University. Today, the artist is based in Fiskars, where he works on his imaginary sculptures using various materials, inspired by the Finnish forests. Simonsson’s artworks have been exposed internationally, especially at Galerie NEC that represents him in France.