Zheng Bo: Wanwu Council 萬物社
21 June to 12 September 2021
As In House: Artist in Residence 2020, the artist and theoretician Zheng Bo embarked on the question of how plants practice politics. In 2021, his exhibition Wanwu Council 萬物社 will expand upon themes that Zheng Bo worked on during his one-year residency at the Gropius Bau.
The Daoist term wanwu translates as “ten thousand things” or “myriad happenings” and embraces the infinite possibilities of life in all its forms. The exhibition premiers the first chapter of Zheng Bo’s film The Political Life of Plants 植物的政治生活 (2021), which has been filmed in Berlin and Brandenburg. It documents conversations with ecologists interspersed with experimental scenes. The series Drawing Life 寫生 (2020–21) brings together drawings of trees and weeds that Zheng Bo encountered over the 24 Solar Terms of one year. This daily drawing practice is a way of persistently staying close to these fellow beings. Wanwu Council 萬物社 takes this approach further: the exhibition will grow out of the Gropius Bau into the “Gropius Wood”, as Zheng Bo calls the community of plane trees that can be found to the west of the building.
Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal with Clare Molloy