Created by the contemporary Korean-American artist Do Ho Suh, Grass Roots Square is an urban art installation that consists of about 50,000 tiny bronze figurines. It is located in Oslo, Norway. The project is at the outside of the government offices in Teatergata. The figurines replace the paving stones that have been removed, or they are placed under them to give the illusion that the figurines are lifting the stones. The project, with its content, form, and location, activates the collective nature of the urban area by addressing people directly. It was installed in 2012.
After winning an international contest, Do Ho Suh was entrusted with designing the entrance plaza of the Government Building in Oslo. In contrast with many striking and large monuments of government organizations, Ho Suh wanted to follow a different path and installed thousands of simple figurines. It took months to complete all of them.
The art installation is meant to embody the grassroots movement that represents the ordinary people, who are the main bodies of any organization. For that reason, the figurines are divided into 400 distinct types that vary in size (7 to 15 centimeters), gender, age, and ethnicity which reflect the diversity of the artist’s homeland. The project deals with the issues of power, democracy, and the clash between those who govern and those who are governed, giving the message that people are strong together.