Animal Kingdom

2023.5.07(日) - 9.03(日)
Nordic Watercolor Museum ショーン
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)



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



Nordic Watercolor Museum
Södra Hamnen 6
471 32 Skärhamn





Biographical Documents

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