Mamakan is a Danish, Aotearoa New Zealand-based artist working with art, cuisine and nature.
Her current project is to bring out the magic of native botanicals through sensory immersion to diverse audiences in New Zealand and abroad. The project is Arcuna, which stands for Art, Cuisine, and Nature.
The first part of the project is 'Our Native Kitchen Garden' - a kitchen garden and a collective cookbook of how to cook with the native plants in collaboration with other artists, chefs, and people working in the fields of natural sciences and conservation.
The second part will be setting up and building the Arcuna Aotearoa gallery, a unique space where artists, chefs, and naturalists create artworks and experiences together with the flora & fauna of Aotearoa. The gallery space is to open in Parau Auckland in 2025.
Mamakan's lifelong voyage of discovery began in Aarhus, Denmark. Born into a long line of nordic people known for their sense of exploration and curiosity, Mamakan identifies with the ancient female Scandinavian Vølve (Volva) traditions.
Years later, this time in Singapore, she began her art practice of GastroGeography: art + food installations that became known for their experiential and sensorial qualities, immersing the audience into living the story using visuals, touch, sounds, and scent.
Mamakan's art practice could best be described as 'GastroGeography' - the taste of a place. Her sensory artworks and collaborative projects aplifiy nature and aims to create a sense of belonging and well-being.
Botanical art is a powerful reminder of our local heritage and connection to nature through plants. Contemporary botanical art designed to create intense sensorial experiences for the audience has the potency to lower stress, connect with the land and regrow our roots.
With her Indonesian/Dutch partner Quinten and their three young children, the family is finally growing their own roots in the beautiful forests of Waitakere after years of moving between Denmark, Brazil, Belgium, Hong Kong, Italy, France, and Singapore.
Born January 1971 in Aarhus, Denmark
Lives and works on a hill in a forest in Parau, Auckland, New Zealand
2015 Charcoal Drawing at NAFA Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore
2015-2016 Fine Arts: Figure Drawing, Drawing Using the Right Side of the Brain, Oil Painting at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
2016: Art History: Asian Art at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
2004-2016 Goodwill Ambassador of Copenhagen
Selected Exhibitions, Press and Projects
- The Gallery of Art, Food and Forests - to be built and opened in Parau, Waitakere.
- 'Our Native Kitchen Garden' - a kitchen garden and a collective cookbook of how to cock with the native plants of Aotearoa New Zealand.
- For the Love of Botanicals, Space Gallery, Whanganui, Aotearoa New Zealand. 12-22 May 2021.
- Inspire at Te Uru Contemporary Art Gallery, Titirangi, Aotearoa New Zealand. 6 May 2021.
- Wisdom and Nature 2020-2021 by Le Ciel Foundation. Exhibition at Christie’s New York 28 February - 4 March 2020. Auction at Christie’s London early 2021.
- The Art of Foraging, pop-up installations of food art and performance around Aotearoa New Zealand
- Kohekohe Love, an online viewing room. Premiere May/June
- Launching the Panel for Emotions, Art and Senses (PEAS), March
Commission for Titirangi Earth Festival 2020
Participating Studio - Installation at Arataki Visitor Centre and Waitakere Ranges, at Open Studios Waitakere 2021
A Beautiful Forest: Mycelium Dinners, New Zealand + Global
- Participating Studio at Open Studios Waitakere 2020
- Commission for Titirangi Earth Festival 2019
- Participant at the inaugural Holistic Visions Symposium by Le Ciel Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, Nov/Dec.
- Women in Arts, Launching Committee. Premiere and performances, Singapore, 9th March
- Commision in the memory of Miss Agnes Joaquim. Singpost, February
After the Rainbow. Field trip to Durban and Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, February
- Commission for Singapore Post in the memory of Agnes Joaquim, February
Singapore Art Week, You Art What You Eat, 20th January at Tippling Club, Singapore
Treasure Island, National Museum of Singapore, 28 April to 25 June
- Invisible Realities. Mamakan Dinner Performance for The Performance Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 15 June
- Edible Wild with Mamakan. TV. Channel News Asia (CNA), October 28
- Finissage including Artist Performance, National Museum of Singapore, 23 June
Treasure Trails, National Museum of Singapore, 27 May to 18 June
Field trip to Leuser National Park, North Sumatra, August. See Forbidden Fruit
Talk at KOHLER Pecha Kucha, A Night of Discovery, The Working Capitol, Singapore, 31 August
Talk at Excellent Sheep by The Tropicalist, WOWhaus, Singapore, 19 August
BOTANICA Social Cocktail, Duxton Park, 19 May
Art & Food: Botanical Treasures of Singapore Series: Noni Fruits, Mahota Commune, 12 May. Mahota x Mamakan Pop-up, Mahota Commune, 8 March
- Pecha Kucha Night Singapore HERITAGE ON SHOW, National Museum of Singapore, 9 May
GastroGeography of Singapore, National Parks Board (NParks), Galleri Nila, 4 March to 14 May
An Afternoon of Art & Food, Singapore Art Museum (SAM), 18 February
Contributor to 70 x 7 The Meal Act XL by Studio Orta, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Gillman Barracks, 20 January
GastroGeography of Singapore, Mamakan Art Collective, WOWhaus and Fort Canning, Singapore Biennale 2016, October 2016 to February 2017
- The Foragers of Singapore. South China Morning Post, December
Forbidden Fruit at Royal Danish Embassy, SIM University, Singapore Management University (SMU), September 2015 to March 2016
- Multaia, (Student Project) NUS Yale, 1-30 September
Don't Grow Up Theory. Introducing Innovation Culture to Businesses, Governments and Institutions
- Rainforest Cuisine by Mamakan and Andre Chiang, November 2011 to June 2012
Urban Eco-Warriors, Borneo and Singapore, June 2012
Cafe Timor-Leste, Timor Leste and Singapore. Presented to the President of Timor-Leste on 24 Feb 2012
- Participant in the inaugural Bhutan on Happiness and Competitiveness hosted by the Government of Bhutan
- Curator and Initiator for the first Asian Summit for Sustainable Innovation
Bionomic Age: Qi Global, National Museum of Singapore, School of Art, Design & Media - Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Goodman Arts Centre
Curator for Design for Sustainability and Circle Economy by Qi Global, Former Supreme Court Building (Now National Gallery), December and National Museum of Singapore, October
- Elemetal Experience Design. France, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Thailand, New York.
- Mood Consumption, Style-Vision France