Art of change 21 – You have your first solo exhibition in Italy in the Living Art Park of Turino, named Weed Parti III, What does it show? What impact your work have?
Bo Zheng – The central part of the exhibition at PAV is a weeds garden realized with the kind support of PAV team and local ecologist Daniele Fazio. It invites visitors to sit down with the weeds, or better called spontaneous plants. The exhibition also includes two Survival Manuals — books of edible weeds — that I have hand-copied, as well as the film Pteridophilia. Curator Marco Scotini organized this exhibition as the first episode of a series of exhibitions at PAV on ecological art practices in Asia.
AOC21 – How did you come up with the thematic of climate change, pollution and other global stakes?
B.Z. – My family is from Yunnan in southwestern China, known for beautiful tropical landscapes and diverse indigenous cultures. Specifically I’ve been drawn to weeds because they remind me everyday that human beings cannot and should not control the planet. When asked where Dao exists, philosopher Zhuangzi (late 4th century BC) answered it is in weeds. In order to address the ecological crisis we need to become humble again.
AOC21 – What is your next project?
B.Z. – I’m continuing the film project Pteridophilia in Taiwan. I’m also starting a new project in Kyoto with Ms. Mizuho Fujita of Kyoto City University of Arts, to imagine the ecological future of the historically discriminated Sujin area. We are thinking how to work with the community as well as the Kamo river, the plants, the birds, and the giant salamanders.
AOC21 – On sentence to say what is your role as an artist ?
B.Z. – I learn. I grow. I make half of the work and let plants make the other half.
Credit: Bo Zheng, courtesy of the artist
More information about the artist Bo Zheng here
Conversation led by Alice Audouin, February 2019
Find all the articles in Impact Art News n°6– February 2019
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