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Hans-Otto Ojaste

Hans-Otto Ojaste’s exhibition HANDFUL OF PRAYERS, which was to reach our windows in connection with window exhibitions VINN x OJASTE x VEEGEN x LAURITS (20.03-01.05.2020), will reach you virtually.

HANDFUL OF PRAYERS juxtaposes the movements involved in snacking on sunflower seeds and handling prayer beads. Using fingers to handle prayer beads is used to help with saying prayers and mantras in various religions. Over thousands of years people have developed physical algorithms to code their mind. Fingering beads is synchronised with repeating prayers or mantras. Placing this motif into street culture, one can find a parallel with snacking on sunflower seeds. Just like beads, the seeds are handled with fingers. The movements of removing the seed from its husk and eating it are repetitive. Saying a prayer is replaced by chewing.

Hans-Otto Ojaste graduated from the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA 2012) and belongs to the artist duo Urmas-Ott. He has exhibited in group exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad.


In the book “On Iron” – compiled by Kadri Mälk (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn 2013)

Hans-Otto Ojaste


BA 2012


Of the metals, iron is closest to my heart, it has many different faces.

It seems like a warm material, a very attractive material.

The surface left after iron is cast is the most appealing – something random and regular at the same time

– – –

Being at the forge bings mental clarity. If I work eight hours in a row, without eating – it is incredible to work like that. I would not be able to do other work this way.

There is some kind of energy in the flames of the forge that keeps you going. Fatigue comes later

– – –

I am not some hirsute ancient blacksmith, I’m not that type of person

But this work with fire does contain mystery.

The sunflower seeds used in the video are made of silver by Hans-Otto Ojaste.