Pursue a Dream · solo exhibition of Danish artist Simone Aaberg Kaern
  • Exhibition Time:2023.03.11 - 2023.05.08

    Opening Time:2023-03-11 15:00:00

    Lecture Time:2023-03-11 15:00:00

    Exhibition Venue:Nordic Contemporary Art Center


    Curators:Lan Lan

    策展执行:Yatao Zhang


    Oganizers:Nordic Contemporary Art Center(Xiamen)

    Undertaker:Skane Cultural Communication co.,LTD

    Support units:99s国际女飞行员组织; 福建海外杰出女性联谊会; 厦门航空有限公司; 丹麦路易斯安那现代艺术博物馆; 厦门市海洋高新产业园区开发建设翔安分指挥部; 厦门市郎园招商管理有限公司



Burning Sky: Flying Under the Burning Canopy

Artist and pilot Simone Aaberg Kærn explores the concept of living under the canopy of our life-tree while the world around us is ablaze, symbolically and poetically playing on the canopy as both the canopy of the sky, the Banyan tree's canopy, and the canopy of her airplane. The exhibition tell the story of women pilot pioneers with 36 portraits of pilots from China and beyond. These works are done in cooporation with Chinese Ninety Nines, Chinese Air Force historians Miao Xiaohong og He Xiaoming and the kind participation of Xiamen Airline.

During her one-month residency at Nordic Contemporary Art Center in 2019, Kærn was deeply inspired by the Banyan trees found in the local area. These magnificent trees, with their intricate air roots and expansive canopies, provided fascinating subject matter for Kærn's artwork, interwoven with the Wuyi mountains and the quickly growing skyscrapers that take over the countryside around Xiamen. Kærn poetically connects the notion of the sky as the canopy, the Banyan tree's canopy, and the canopy of her airplane. 

Through her art, Kærn delves into the history of female pilots in China and abroad, inviting visitors to contemplate the struggles and triumphs of these pioneers in the face of societal and cultural barriers. Drawing on critical reflection, meditation, and performance, Kærn encourages us to consider our own aspirations for freedom, as well as the challenges we face as individuals and as a society in the face of climate change.

As we navigate a world in turmoil, this exhibition offers a space for contemplation and introspection. Visitors are invited to engage with the exhibition's physical sculptures and painted portraits of the women pioneers, participate in guided meditations, and join in conversations about our relationship with the natural world and the impact of our actions on future generations.

The exhibition features elements from Kærn's AIR at NAC, including video screens and large-scale printed banners that adorn the gallery's high walls. Through these pieces, Kærn invites us to consider the complex issues surrounding poverty, access to resources, and climate change, urging us to think critically about our responsibilities to the world we inhabit.

At its core, "Burning Sky" is a powerful exploration of the human experience, weaving together beauty, horror, sadness, and sorrow in a way that both challenges and inspires. Through Kærn's art and vision, we are reminded of the urgency of our collective challenges and the vital importance of holding space for critical reflection and meaningful action. Join us in this immersive exhibition experience, and let us contemplate together how we can continue to fly, if we can- under the burning canopy while striving towards a more sustainable and equitable world.

Simone have worked with Kim Lykke Jørgensen on severel fo the artworks in the exhibition and he has worked as a co-curator on the project.

Simone have worked closely with Yatao Zhang - in the creation of new works for the exhibition and installation of her exhibition in Xiamen.

Magnus Bejmar is co-instructor and cameraman on the film Smiling in a War Zone.

Specific thanks to:

The Chinese Ninety Nines 

Danish Arts Foundation 

Beckett Foundation 

S.C. Van Fonden

The Danish Cultural Center in Beijing

Else Marie Buckdal