Animal Kingdom

2023.5.07(Sun) - 9.03(Sun)
Nordic Watercolor Museum Tjorn
Group Exhibition


Animal Kingdom

This exhibition features works by 14 artists and art collectives drawn from five centuries and includes masterpieces of biological illustration in watercolour as well as highly provocative contemporary art in a variety of media. Together these illuminate our shifting understanding of the forces that shape the natural world and our understanding of our own place in it.

The exhibition is underpinned by Systema Naturae, Carl Linnaeus’s revolutionary and seminal book about the intricate flora and fauna of our planet. His classification system inspired some of the best illustrators in art history, whose depictions of the diversity of plants and animals navigated the territory where art and science meet. This exhibition explores the legacy of biological illumination, an art form traditionally developed in the pre-photographic era using watercolour media. Watercolour was the medium of choice because its convenience made it appropriate for artists to take with them into the field for making direct studies from nature. One goal for the exhibition is to make note of the philosophical reach that is linked to biological illuminations while we celebrate the aesthetic value of the watercolours themselves.

The historical works are presented in dialogue with modern art that profoundly portrays the great challenges of our time. The contemporary artists in this exhibition reflect a profound shift in perspective in philosophically provocative and conceptual ways. Some evoke the spectre of extinction, but instead of reductively conjuring visions of a hell-scape, their work expresses more personal meditations on multiple alternative trajectories for ideas that generate holistic thinking. Some present more poetic responses to the legacy of Linnaeus and the collecting practices of early naturalists, while others hold up a mirror to our tendency to run away from acknowledging our problems that are caused by everyday human addictions.

Participating artists: The Rudbeck Family (17th–18th century), Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), Barbara Regina Dietzsch (1706–1783), John James Audubon (1785–1851), Magnus & Wilhelm von Wright (1805–1868 & 1810–1887), Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), Walton Ford (b. 1960), Mark Dion (b. 1961), Christine Ödlund (b.1963), Astrid Svangren (b. 1972), Carlos Amorales (b. 1970), Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg (b. 1978 & 1978) and the art collective teamLab (founded in 2001)


Venue Details

Animal Kingdom
2023.5.07(Sun) - 9.03(Sun)
Nordic Watercolor Museum



Nordic Watercolor Museum
Södra Hamnen 6
471 32 Skärhamn



teamLab (f. 2001) is an international art collective. Their collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world. Through art, the interdisciplinary group of specialists, including artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects, aims to explore the relationship between the self and the world, and new forms of perception.

In order to understand the world around them, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them. teamLab seeks to transcend these boundaries in our perceptions of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity.

teamLab exhibitions have been held in cities worldwide, including New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Melbourne among others. teamLab museums and large-scale permanent exhibitions include teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets in Tokyo, teamLab Borderless Shanghai, and teamLab SuperNature Macao, with more to open in cities including Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Hamburg, Jeddah, and Utrecht.

teamLab’s works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Asia Society Museum, New York; Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Amos Rex, Helsinki.

Biographical Documents

teamLab is represented by Pace Gallery, Martin Browne Contemporary and Ikkan Art.