Norwegian architecture, music, literature and visual arts have won international recognition, and a number of Norwegian artists, writers and musicians rank among the best in the world. Internationalisation of Norwegian arts and culture has increased awareness of, and interest in, modern Norway.
Nine Norwegian artists – more than ever before – were selected to take part in documenta, the world’s most important exhibition for contemporary art, in 2017. Several countries have purchased rights to produce their own versions of the Norwegian television series SKAM. And in 2019, Norway will be the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time ever.
The plays of Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) are among the world’s most frequently performed, while Jon Fosse is one of the most widely performed living playwrights.
Edvard Munch (1863-1944) captured his own anguish – and arguably the suffering of the human condition – in his iconic painting The Scream. Ida Ekblad is currently making her mark on the Norwegian and international art scene with installations that combine paintings, sculptures, performances, films and poetry.
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was a composer in the national romantic tradition who revolutionised the music of his day. Today, hits by young Norwegian musicians such as Aurora and Astrid S can be found topping international charts. Another well-known name is Mari Boine, who mixes elements of jazz into traditional Sami chanting songs (joik).
Alan Walker is streamed in Shanghai and Sao Paulo, and Sigrid was named the winner of the BBC Music Sound of 2018.
Alan Lucien Øyen and Winter Guests on tour in Europe and North America.
Deeyah Khan is a two-time Emmy award winner in the category best documentary. In 2016, she was appointed the first-ever UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity.
Architecture and design
Among the architecture firms that have made their mark abroad is Snøhetta, the firm behind the Oslo Opera House, the new library of Alexandria (Egypt) and the National September 11 Memorial Pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York City. Daniel Rybakken has received a number of national and international awards for his furniture and lighting design and various art installations.
A great many Norwegian books are translated and published abroad. Jo Nesbø’s books are best sellers from Seattle to Singapore. Maja Lunde’s ‘A History of Bees’ topped the bestseller lists in Germany for much of 2017. And Karl Ove Knausgård’s books have been translated into 30 languages.
The design companies Northern and Vestre are creating jobs in Norway by promoting Norwegian design and Norwegian designers.
Ceramics by Elisabeth von Krogh and textiles by Ellen Grieg were among the highlights at Design Miami/ in 2017.
Norway and Indonesia
Several Norwegian artists have visited Indonesia in the past years. Musicians such as Sondre Lerche, Beady Belle, Hanna Paulsberg, Ørjan Nilsen and Alan Walker have all performed in Indonesia in the last few years. Norwegian authors such as Jo Nesbø and Jostein Gaarder are popular and easily available in English in Indonesia. Some of Jostein Gaarder’s books have been translated to Bahasa Indonesia as well. Nevertheless, the number of Norwegian books available in Bahasa Indonesia is still low. Norwegian Literature Abroad awards stipends to publishers and translators upon application. The Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta has a range of high quality Norwegian movies that can be used for non-profit screenings in Indonesia and Timor Leste by festivals, universities/schools, film clubs and others. If your institution would like to host a screening, please contact the Embassy.