The Collection DKM combines five very different areas: Contemporary art since the 1960s – Art from the Far East that is well over 2000 years old and also contemporary art from China, Korea, and Japan – Art from Ancient Egypt – Classical and contemporary photography – Ceramics and glass from 5,000 years of cultural history.
The contemporary art at the Collection DKM contains works by more than 300 artists. About one third of the total work of the sculptor Ernst Hermanns are on display, including his huge “Düsseldorf space”. Ulrich Rückriem is represented through numerous sculptural and graphic works. Further works or groups of works are contributed by Ai Weiwei, Song Dong, Ulrich Erben, Norbert Frensch, Hamish Fulton, Hayato Goto, Nikolaus Koliusis, Norbert Kricke, Raimund Kummer, Lee Ufan, Richard Long, Bernd Minnich, Christiane Möbus, Ben Nicholson, Kazuhito Nishikawa, Blinky Palermo, Qui Shi-Hua, Erich Reusch, Jan J. Schoonhoven, Richard Serra, Yuji Takeoka, Thomas Virnich, Raimund van Well, Hannes Vogel, Manfred Vogel, Erwin Wortelkamp.
In the series of works from ancient China of particular prominence is a monumental 90 cm high marble head of Buddha from the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 – 577). Also on display from around the same time (386 – 907) are other heads and statues of Buddha, of a sentry, and of a civil servant made of marble or terracotta. The Collection DKM is keen that funeral sculptures communicate something from the original context. So figures are not presented in isolation, but as a group of 14 soldiers, or as funeral procession with 53 figures. Even figures of animals – for example camels, cattle – that have served as grave gifts. Ancestral images, scholars’ stones, scrolls and furniture from the 18th and 19th century complete this part of the collection. Separate sections are devoted to statues and reliefs from Gandhāra (Afghanistan / Pakistan, 1st – 4th century), from Ayutthaya (Thailand, 17th – 18th century), to the Khmer (Cambodia), and also artifacts (screens, ceramics, scrolls ) from 19th century Japan.
Among the works from ancient Egypt only a few – Osiris statuette, Ibis heads, receptacles – are shown in the Museum DKM, as the majority are on permanent loan to the Museum for Antiquity in Basel.