Online conversation
In House: Artist in Residence

Politics of Plants. Preliminary Questions

Zheng Bo & Takeshi Ise

On 5 June, the East Asian lunisolar calendar Solar Term transitioned into the period Grain in Beard (芒种), describing how wheat begins to ripen and grow bristles. On this day, Takeshi Ise and Zheng Bo spoke about ways to imagine working with plants politically.


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.

  • 60 min.
  • In English

Past Dates

Focusing on strategies for understanding plants as complex systems and communities, rather than as individuals, Zheng Bo and Takeshi Ise considered what it means to include all manner of flora in this imagining, from mosses and ferns to trees.

During the conversation, Zheng took a walk on Hong Kong's Lantau Island and Ise in Kyoto, Japan. 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.

Takeshi Ise is an associate professor at the Field Science Education and Research Center (FSERC) at Kyoto University in Japan. He describes himself as a forest ecologist. He is currently engaging in an interdisciplinary project concerning environmental protection, citizen science and multimedia communication.

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.