Banyan Commune# Issue.2
Zheng Bo + Wei Zhijiao + Participants:Weed Commons
2016.4.23 - 2016.7.24
Hours: 10:00-20:00 Monday– Sunday (freeadmission)
Curated by: Tan Yue
Times Museum is situated at thefast-changing urban rural fringe. Multiple forms of dwellings and complex humancompositions constitute this typical landscape of the Pearl River Delta.Surrounding the museum are middle-class residential projects, urban-villages, smallauto repair shops, dormitories of state-owned enterprises constructed in the1980s, a temple built in Daoguang period of Qing Dynasty, and a piece offarmland that is just abandoned. All these co-exist and co-thrive, and TimesMuseum is in the middle of it. Artist Zheng Bo has been invited to organize thesecond project in the Banyan Commune, focusing on the social and ecologicalsetting of the Museum.
Since 2013, Zheng Bo has produced a seriesof projects on urban wild plants. He investigates the histories of weeds inChinese cities, analyze botanical symbols throughout China’s modernizationprocess, and reveal the symbiotic relationships between plants and politics. Inthis newly commissioned project, Zheng Bo, experienced landscape designer WeiZhijiao, and workshop participants collect weeds in different neighborhoodsaround the museum, transplant them into the Banyan Commune, and construct a transientweed garden. Through this, they initiate a series of discussions on the relationshipbetween museum, community, and ecology. The artist is no longer the solecreator; the public is invited to join the intervention and dialogues.
About the Artist
Zheng Bo, born in Beijing in 1974, now lives and works inHong Kong. He received his PhD in Visual & Cultural Studies at theUniversity of Rochester, and teaches at the School of Creative Media, CityUniversity of Hong Kong. Committed to socially engaged art through practice andresearch, Zheng Bo investigates the past and the present from the perspectiveof marginalized communities and marginalized plants. His recent projectsinclude solo exhibitions such as Sing for Her, Cultural Centre (2015); WeedParty, Leo Xu Project, Shanghai (2015); awallproject.net, supportedby Cass Sculpture Foundation, The Space and British Council (2015-); PlantsLiving in Shanghai, Xuhui, Shanghai, commissioned by the 1st West BundBiennale (2013). He has also participated in various group exhibitionsincluding Adrift, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen (2016); CollectionExhibition, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Chichester, UK (2015); The 8thShenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen(2014); Occupied, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (2013); VideoArt in Asia 2002 to 2012, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2013); The 3rdGuangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou (2008). He was awardedthe Juror’s Prize by The Signature Art Prize of Singapore Art Museum in 2008and the Prize of Excellence by Hong Kong Art Biennial in 2005.
Wei Zhijiao, an experienced landscape designer, iscommitted to studying complicated urban public space and urban fringe. Sheinsists to reserve weeds in landscape design and create an environment for thecity, people and other species to co-exist.
Banyan tree with a particular meaning isrepresenting the uniqueness traditional civil cultural in Canton region. It isa temporary stopping place in the streets and alleys, an open courtroom andalso a community centre. Times Museum launch a brand new project space, BanyanCommune, open to public for free since 2016, located just inside thestreet-facing glass wall at the main entrance to the museum. This spacewitnesses the seasonal shifts, day-and-night alternate of the surrounding neighborhoodwhile serving as the window for connecting the museum to the public. Participationand openness are two major focus to this project. In different seasonsthroughout the year, artists will be invited to present a small scale soloexhibition aimed at the unique traits of the community and the architecturalspace, drawing from many forms including installation, video, sound,performance and event, among others.