Kentia Palm, Unique No.13, 2022
Installation view at A Lasting Truth Is Change, Van Abbemuseum
13th Kentia palm tree used for Marcel Broodthaers’s Tapis de Sable (1974), Van Abbemuseum collection,
chair found in the museum’s attic

Kentia Palm, Unique No. 13 is a new series of works involving plants by Donghwan Kam. In the artist’s previous work Plants (2019–22), he collected soft-abandoned plants from his surroundings and for two years maintained and helped them get into the sunniest spaces in the Rijksacademie van beeldende kunsten building as a manifestation of their presence. 

For A Lasting Truth Is Change, Kam places a Kentia palm tree – from a 2021–22 exhibition of work by Marcel van den Berg and Erwin Thomasse at the Van Abbemuseum that also referenced Broodthaer’s work – on a chair that curator Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide found in the museum’s attic. Kam also made administration forms on maintaining kentia palm trees for Tapis de Sable, which he gave to Kim Sluijter, collection registrar at the museum.

The chair remained empty on the opening day of the exhibition, as Marcel and Ewrwin’s exhibition ended one day later.

Administration Forms designed by Seokyung Kim