Bamboo as Method 格竹

2018

Commissioned by “Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence” 
with the support of the Mao Jihong Arts Foundation
in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou

In this newly conceived participatory work, Zheng Bo invites audience members to temporarily disconnect from the high energy-consuming network of the Anthropocene and to become aware of the biosphere that surrounds us through drawing, an activity that demands concentration and patience. Each participant can choose a few bamboo leaves to sketch. Upon completion, the drawing cannot be taken away; rather, it will be composted on-site to fertilize the bamboo forest during the exhibition. A circle of life is complete.

The title “Bamboo as Method 格竹” refers to the Ming dynasty thinker and scholar Wang Yangming, who once practiced gewu zhizhi (to obtain knowledge by investigating the nature of things), studying bamboo intensively in the hope of achieving enlightenment. In the end Wang Yangming was not successful but the story remains an inspiration for Zheng Bo who sees a renewed urgency to investigate the nature of things.

(Text by Zhang Hanlu)

Bamboo as Method, 2018. Bamboo, paper, pencils, humans, and compost. (Photo by Erhan)
Bamboo as Method, 2018. Bamboo, paper, pencils, humans, and compost. (Photo by Erhan)
Bamboo as Method, 2018. Bamboo, paper, pencils, humans, and compost. (Photo by Erhan)
Bamboo as Method, 2018. Bamboo, paper, pencils, humans, and compost. (Photo by Erhan)
Bamboo as Method, 2018. Bamboo, paper, pencils, humans, and compost. (Photo by Erhan)