Nils Völker

Nils Völker

The MB&F M.A.D.Gallery welcomes the animated and artful compositions of Nils Völker, a German artist with a talent for choreographed motion.

Nils Völker

Born in 1979, Völker grew up in Germany and studied at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. After graduating with a degree in visual communications in 2004, he moved to Berlin to work alongside his brother in graphic design. In 2010, Völker started working as an artist mainly in the fields of physical computing and media art.

Nils Völker excels at transforming everyday items from plastic bags to children’s toys into artful compositions. Each work is brought to life as if it breathes or dances using electronics and programming to direct a perfectly choreographed performance.

Known for large art installations such as ‘Twelve’ commissioned by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Völker has downsized his work exclusively for the MB&F M.A.D.Gallery, focusing on the minute intricacies of motion by expressively using honeycomb elements in his “Fuchsia, Orange & Royal Blue” exhibition.


The spirit of the M.A.D.Gallery is captured in this collection thanks to Völker’s clever transformation of common products into mechanical marvels fusing exacting technology. Watching the honeycomb fans pirouette and twirl in unison is mesmerizing; this kinetic art will forever have us looking at decorations in a new light!

The “Fuchsia, Orange & Royal Blue” exhibition features three animated works of art, each performing an entrancing show as the decorative honeycombs spin, fold, and unfold with choreographed precision similar to an Olympic synchronized swimming team.

Nils Völker

Völker’s three-dimensional artworks wonderfully reimagining a common party trimming are simply captivating, whether in motion or fixed position. The origami-esque paper décor, designed in powerful hues ranging from vibrant royal blue and vivid fuchsia to bright orange, seemingly dances atop the semi-matte lacquered frames to which it is mounted. When the motion is suspended, the honeycomb decorations come to a stop in a beautiful pose.

Nils Völker

The back is as equally impressive as the front with intelligent motors and exceedingly complex electronics – envision an electrical labyrinth of wires, circuit boards, and copper connections. “This project allowed me to explore my work from a different perspective” Völker reveals. “It was an exciting and challenging task to perfect each and every detail of the architecture and movement.”

“It was an exciting and challenging task to perfect each and every detail of the architecture and movement.”

The audible sounds created by the paper structures as they whirl about should be appreciated. One might imagine waves softly crashing ashore with each opening and closing of the décor.

The extremely quiet motors allow the sounds of the crinkling paper to be heard and not drowned out by a noisy mechanism. “One reason I wanted to make the motors so quiet is to make people forget about how the piece works and just enjoy the beauty of when it is running,” he adds.

Nils Völker

“Orange” is a set of four brilliant tangerine colour paper honeycombs anchored on a square base measuring 50 x 50 cm. This piece is a limited edition of 28 and works as a small solo piece or as part of a diptych or triptych. The five raindrop- shaped paper décor of “Fuchsia” stand in a single file line creating a striking visual on a long table. There are 18 pieces available that measure 112 x 7 cm in size. “Royal Blue” is limited to 8 pieces and features 16 circular fans in a vibrant cobalt hue dancing on a 110 cm square frame.

Each base is lacquered with a dark version of the complementary colour of the honeycomb-paper object.


The story of the “Fuchsia, Orange & Royal Blue” collection begins with honeycomb decorations, an item commonly used as party trimmings.

Völker played with this, inspiring himself to inventive ideas for a kinetic work by connecting the paper décor to motors and building a workable prototype of his imaginative design.

Nils Völker

Fascinated by the outcome, he next began detailed modifications leading to two series of prototypes, each inching closer and closer to perfection in his eyes. His relatively simple idea became a reality over the course of a year. “The electrical and mechanical work comes together during a very detailed process to customize and define the specifications for the communication programming throughout the work,” explains Völker. “The circuit boards in this collection truly reach new heights for electronics.”

Seventy-four serialized and customized motors, almost 10,000 solder points, and months of intense work resulted in a remarkable piece of machine art. Behind each honeycomb element is a pair of motors powering the performance; Völker tailor-made each motor specifically for the composition, maximizing the functionality and reducing noise.

Nils Völker

The highly engineered circuit board designed by Völker directs every single movement in the composition as a conductor does his orchestra. A durable synthetic polymer called polystyrene is flawlessly milled to exact specifications set by Völker to cable and mount the motors. It doubles as the backdrop after being painted with a semi- matte lacquer.


Download the catalogue.