NEWLY ACQUIRED PLOT OF LAND AT NIVÅ STATION – DANH VO PRESENTS
With the support of the Obel Family Foundation, The Nivaagaard Collection has bought and taken over a plot of land at Nivå Station, 800 metres from the museum. With the newly acquired plot, put up for sale by DSB, the museum anchors its footing in the town – not with a traditional sculpture, but with a piece of land that will change over time.
The plot is 690 m2. Here, the Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo, with whom The Nivaagaard Collection began a collaboration last year, gets free rein to create a garden over time under the auspices of the project ‘Danh Vo presents’. Throughout history, many artists and groups of artists have admired the garden and its joys, but Danh Vo is not going to use his garden as a subject, he is not going to paint it. Something else is at stake for Vo: A garden is a way of thinking, a way of being in the world, which in many ways contrasts with the breathtaking international life of exhibitions he has lived for many years.
Danh Vo says:
It is really inspiring that The Nivaagaard Collection has bought this plot and thrown itself into a new and experimental art form where none of us quite know where the project ends. I have seldom experienced anything so radical in my career and I look forward to listening to the place and seeing what grows in every way. There is no more beautiful sculpture than a garden.
You can not rush a sprout
A garden can be a place of cultivation, recreation, contemplation. You can meet and be together in a garden, or you can sit for a while and immerse yourself. When working with a garden, one must surrender to a slower pace. You can not rush a sprout and the garden must be tended to, watered and cared for in accordance with the given circumstances. In a poetic and subtle way, gardening is the opposite of hectic and result-oriented, which often characterizes our modern life.
Museums and artists usually collaborate within a tight timeline and with many deadlines. In the garden on the newly acquired plot, a different timeline will prevail, there are no set plans or goals in mind here. By creating a garden together, the museum and the artist have sown a seed for a different way of doing things.
Museum director Andrea Rygg Karberg says:
When you see Danh Vo work in the nature around his studio in Güldenhof outside Berlin, the understanding of his art and work process, which has an organic growth, increases. Nature means more and more to Vo in his art and life, as for the rest of us, and the garden here is both an artistic and ideological experiment of the times.
The garden is our gift to Nivå, which will help to create innovative, green and artistic experiences along the Kystbanen (The Coast Line). With our ongoing climate renovation, The Nivaagaard Collection enters a new era with a green museum profile, where it is also the museum’s desire to communicate and live up to ‘sustainability’ as a world goal in the best possible way. It is a great pleasure for the museum to have this satellite at the station, which speaks to the history and identity of the Collection, which is deeply rooted in Nivå – and vice versa.
In 2020, Danh Vo presented favourite artists from his own collection at the museum, which are of great importance to his art. In 2021, Vo presents inspiring personalities from other disciplines beyond the walls of the Collection: a chef, a scientist and the ART 2030 organization, which unites art with the UN’s world goals.
Over the past year, ART 2030 has created a connection between the artist and Professor Carsten Rahbek, whose thoughts on sustainability and biodiversity form the basis for Vo’s first development of the garden. Vo, who grew up in Nivå, where he came with his family as a refugee from Vietnam, has rediscovered Nivå’s nature on countryside walks together with Carsten Rahbek, Christian Puglisi and ART 2030. In collaboration with chef Christian Puglisi, who also came to Nivå as a child, Vo is also backing a potato field, which all the town’s children and residents are invited to participate in.