With one of Scandinavia’s greatest contemporary art collections, Arken is well worth a visit. The museum of modern art contains a large collection and always presents exciting exhibitions. The museum building has a maritime architecture, that is supposed to represent a stranded ship (hence the name ‘Arken’). When you step inside, the design follows you all the way through the venue, which is supposed to look like the hull of a ship, where iron doors and visible bolts are the cherry on top.
The museum collection
At Arken you will find over 400 works of art, where almost all are from after the 1990s. Arkens vision is to “add a new perspective to the visitor’s life, so that you become wiser about yourself and life as such”. The museum writes that there are two visible themes for their art: one is about the human existence, the other is about the art concept itself.
Amongst Chinas most famous modern artists, is Ai Weiwei, who with his sensational works of art creates a large buzz when auctioning them out. At Arken you can see the Golden Zodiac Heads, which consist of 12 large animal heads from the Chinese zodiac signs, cast in bronze. The reason behind the sensation of Ai Weiweis’ work is that the Chinese rule consistently try to keep the Chinese cultural heritage in their own country, whilst the artists want to share them with the world as a message of freedom.
Questions are raised through the paradox of the Damien Hirst-hall. The art consists of medicin bottle labels, a diamond skull, fragile butterflies, dots and a cow split in two. Apart from this, you can see and hear about Jeppe Heins mirror labyrinth, Anselm Reyles wagon wheel, Clare Woods’ paintings, Elmgreen & Dragsets equestrian statue, Grayson Perry’s Wathamstow wallpaper and much, much more.
Plan your visit
Arken is open almost all year round. You can find the opening hours and entrance fees on their webpage. The museum is right by Ishoj Harbour, which is a cozy marina perfect for an afternoon walk.
Parking is free at Arken, but regardless of which hotel you stay at, it is also easy to get there with public transport. Zleep Hotel Ishoj is less than 3 km from Arken, so you can enjoy the lovely walk there or choose to take the bus all the way to the door. It is just a short half an hour to Arken from Copenhagen central station, right by Zleep Hotel Copenhagen City.