Jenny-Marie Johnsen





Nordic Contemporary Art Center in Xiamen, China

5.4. – 20.5. 2018

Curated by Else Marie Bukdahl

The interplay between the local and the global

The five Nordic countries; Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark have, since they became independent states, had many shared cultural characteristics, One of the most significant is the interplay between the local and the global. This interplay was developed as early as the Viking Age, which spanned from late 8th century to the mid-11th century. The vikings, who were roving young men, travelled around Europe and also reached beyond its borders. They were often warlike, but were also interested in the many foreign cultures that they encountered, which they transferred to their own countries. This meant that their own cultures were constantly provided with new cultural inspiration. The interplay between the local and the global created a series of diverse, intersecting traces, which became the foundation of a flourishing culture. All five countries have been very conscious that, if one worked exclusively with profiling the local or national culture, it would atrophy from lack of developmental opportunities. If, on the other hand, one concentrated solely on the global, one risked losing an independent cultural identity. This is because an identity of this kind arises precisely as a result of the interplay between the local and the global, or between the national and the international. This interplay has also, more or less clearly, characterized the development of art and contemporary art in the five countries. This is often seen as visual dialogues with the art of earlier eras, for example the sculpture of the Antiquity, Roman sculpture, Baroque art such as Bernini’s, Romantic art, like the works of the painter Caspar David Friedrich, or the sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries, like works by Rodin and Louise Bourgeois. But inspiration could also come from the breakthroughs of the modern era, both in figurative and nonfigurative art. Artists have incorporated these dialogues and sources of inspiration into their artistic visions and in their diverse artistic activities.


This interplay between the local and the global can also be located many labyrinthine traces in the works created by the artists participating in the Nordic Center in Xiamen in March 2018. But the different forms of inspiration that the artists have gained from their travels in China can also be seen in many of the works.


Opening:          5th April 2018

Participating artists are:

Jenny Marie Johnsen (Norway)

Nils Viga Hausken (Norway)

Marit Benthe Norheim (Norway)

Richford Ekholm (Finland)

Hjördis Haack (Sweden)

Pontus Kjerrman (Sweden)

Vibeke Glarbo (Denmark)

Claus Ørntoft (Denmark)

Ib Monrad Hansen (Denmark)

Tine Hecht-Pedersen (Denmark)

Tine Jacobsen (Denmark)

Hans Pauli Olsen (Denmark)

Architect Holger Grue, architect and photographer Tine Grue and art historian d. phil. Else Marie will be creating activities associated with the exhibition.