You can not rush a sprout

DANH VO PRESENTS 2021. A garden over time – and a potato field

In 2020, the Nivaagaard Collection began a multi-year collaboration with the Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo, who grew up in Nivå and today has the whole world as his stage. Like the founder of the Nivaagaard Collection, Danh Vo is a great collector. At the Nivaagaard Collection last summer, he presented an exhibition with works from his collection of artists, all of whom have had great significance for his own art.

In the summer of 2021, Danh Vo will move out of the museum and spread to the town of Nivå and the surrounding countryside. The project will reach out to the residents of Nivå, including the ones who do not normally visit the Nivaagaard Collection. Where the exhibition in 2020 showed the art in the classical sense, this summer’s Vo project in Nivå will display the art in a different and innovative manner.

Museums and artists normally work together in a compressed time frame and with a lot of deadlines. This spring, the Nivaagaard Collection bought an old 690 m2 DSB plot by Nivå Station and here time will flow differently – there will be no fixed plans or objectives to meet. Here, Danh Vo will get free hands to create a garden over time as part of the project that Danh Vo will be presenting. 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 connection with Danh Vo presents 2021, the museum will work together with the chef Christian F. Puglisi and Danh Vo to create a potato field in their childhood town, Nivå, and all the residents of the area are invited to look after it from May to August. The field is planted with around 35 different varieties of potato, each with their own taste, form and colour, and this makes it an edible tribute to diversity. Both Vo and Puglisi want this field to make people better understand local production of food, the state of nature, sustainability and social responsibility. The 900 m2 field has been created on the lawn west of the Nivå Shopping Mall (Nivå Centeret).


The Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo (1975) is a star in the international art sky. He has had solo exhibitions in the world’s largest museums such as the Guggenheim in New York and he represents Denmark at the Venice Biennale. Based in Berlin and Mexico, he has the entire world as his playground. Now he will be returning to his roots for a while in order to take part in a multi-year collaboration with the Nivaagaard Collection.

Like millions of others, Danh Vo was forced to flee from one country to another. In 1979, he and his family sailed from Vietnam on a home-built boat and was picked up by a Maersk vessel. After a stay in a refugee camp in Singapore, his family was granted asylum in Denmark in 1980. The family then spent many years living in Nivå, were Danh Vo attended the local school until he was expelled in the 8th grade. He then completed study programmes at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1998-2002) and Städelschule in Frankfurt (2002-2005).

His work is often based on themes related to how human development and identity is created by major cultural and political conditions that are outside of an individual’s control. The works often have an archaeological or cultural history character in the form of found objects and traces from the past that are brought in as witnesses to events or problematic issues. The collaboration between Vo and the Nivaagaard Collection is a natural extension of this study of history – both the history of the small individuals and the big events. And then in addition there is nature, which has gradually been the prime influence of Vo’s artistic work in recent years.


Det Obelske Familiefond


Fredensborg Kommune, Nordsjællands Vej og Park, for velvilligt samarbejde omkring udlån af plænen til brug for dette års etablering af kartoffelmark. Marken er etableret af NSVP og ligger i forlængelse af kommunens fokus på styrkelse af biodiversitet. Kartoffelmarken bliver til i samarbejde med Nivå Skole, Nivå Nu, Nivå Bibliotek, Kunstambassadørerne og borgere i Nivå.

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