Internationally recognized installation artist Eric Rieger, also known as HOTTEA, completed his largest and most challenging yarn installation to date at Mall of America. Forecast was thrilled to work with HOTTEA and Mall of America to facilitate the piece, titled “Hot Lunch.”


“Hot Lunch” is comprised of 13,000 strands of yarn 60 feet in length, totaling 721 pounds and featuring 103 colors. The stunning artwork hangs from a 55 by 45-foot skylight and is the first impression visitors from around the world see when they walk into the Mall of America.

The piece was inspired by HOTTEA’s assistant, Lin, who also works as a school lunch aid. HOTTEA vividly remembers his own difficulties during high school lunch period and felt a personal connection to Lin and her story.

“The foundation behind my work is to use existing infrastructure and create an artwork or idea that is in harmony within the given space,” HOTTEA said. “I want to give as many people as possible an opportunity to experience spaces in new ways. I want to evoke feelings of happiness and awe.”

HOTTEA pulls inspiration for his elaborate and stunning yarn installations from his grandmother, who taught him how to knit when he was a child growing up in New Ulm, MN. His yarn work began with typography on fences, which has now grown to over a thousand fence displays around the world. HOTTEA has also created more than 70 large-scale installations. While HOTTEA still sticks to his roots with noncommissioned yarn artwork, he has collaborated with Sesame Street and New York Fashion Week and has been invited to display his artwork across the globe in North America, London, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Sydney.

“Hot Lunch” will be on display at Mall of America through October 2017.


News articles on the installation:
Star Tribune
Arch Daily
Minnesota Public Radio