Online conversation
In House: Artist in Residence

Politics of Plants. Preliminary Questions

Zheng Bo & Roger T. Ames

On 20 May, the East Asian lunisolar calendar Solar Term transitioned into the period Lesser Fullness of Grain (⼩满). On this day, Roger T. Ames and Zheng Bo were in conversation about Daoist perspectives on interspecies thinking.

Zheng Bo, LIFE IS HARD. WHY DO WE MAKE IT SO EASY?, 2018

Zheng Bo, LIFE IS HARD. WHY DO WE MAKE IT SO EASY?, 2018. Commissioned by Thailand Biennale, Krabi, and supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

Photo: Abdulromae Taleh

  • 60 min.
  • In English

Past Dates

Reflections on the relations between humans and non-human beings are ancient considerations. Zheng and Ames spoke about what inspiration can be drawn from Daoism to address more-than-human politics and ecological emergency.

During the conversation, Zheng took a walk on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island and Ames on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Listeners were invited to do the same: to take a walk in nature and imagine possible relations between humans and other beings. You can listen to the recording of the conversation on the right.

Roger T. Ames is Humanities Chair Professor at Peking University and former editor of the journal Philosophy East and West. He has authored numerous philosophical translations of canonical literature on Daoism and Confucianism, including the Daodejing and the Confucian Analects.

Zheng Bo is an artist and theorist currently based on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. As this year’s In House: Artist in Residence, he is exploring how equality between species on the planet can be reimagined and realised. During his residency, Zheng is deepening his research through exchange with scientists and is holding events on the solar terms of the year, beginning with this series of live conversations.