In 1986, the district association of the west part of the city funded a competition for a new outdoor sculpture to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city of Reykjavík. Jón Gunnar’s Sun Voyager won the competition, and the aluminium model (42.5 cm × 88 cm × 36 cm, 16.7 in × 34.6 in × 14.2 in) was presented to the city for enlargement. The full-sized Sun Voyager was eventually unveiled on Sæbraut on the birthday of the city of Reykjavík, August 18, 1990. […] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun_Voyager#History ….
In an interview published in the newspaper Þjóðviljinn on 11 June 1987, Jón Gunnar describes the genesis of the work as being part of the Scandinavian art project, Experimental Environment, which conducted various artistic experiments in Iceland, Denmark and other places in the 1980s:
In May 1985, a group of artists, members of the Scandinavian art project, Experimental Environment, gathered to take part in the Saari-Vala Environmental Art Action in Bockholm, Finland. There I experienced a sense of the history of the origins of Icelanders, something which is also related in the present exhibition at the Nordic House in Reykjavík.
I had an uncanny feeling that I had been on this island before, when travelling on my way from Mongolia to Iceland, hundreds of years ago.
As you know, there have been speculations that the Icelanders as a race originated in Mongolia. I have discovered the history of their migration to…[…] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun_Voyager#Concept