Zheng Bo / Pernod Ricard Fellow 2016
In residency in June, July and December 2016
Zheng Bo (b. 1974 Beijing) has been making socially engaged art since 2003. He has worked with a wide range of communities, including the Queer Cultural Center in Beijing and Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong. His participatory projects have been exhibited in numerous public institutions in China and abroad. He received a Prize of Excellence from Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2005, and a Juror’s Prize from Singapore Art Museum in 2008. Since 2013, he has been working with weeds as a way to think about ecology and politics in Greater China. He received a PhD in Visual & Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester, taught at China Academy of Art from 2010 to 2013, and currently teaches at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
Zheng Bo: "I will investigate the linkage between political parties as a persistent political form despite our contempt, and weeds as an irrepressible ecological force despite our discomfort. Specifically, first, through archival research of textual and visual materials, I would like to revisit the 1920s when Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Cai Chang and other Chinese students studying in France established the “Chinese Young Communist Party.” By asking the seemingly illogical question – what roles did weeds play in this episode – I want to complicate the canonical histories of the Chinese Communist Party and international communism, and push for a more historical understanding of the roots of contemporary ecological crisis in China, and globally.
Secondly, I want to engage in deep conversations with sociologists, political scientists, and botanists in Paris to fantasize a post-human political party named "Weed Party". How would this party’s ideological, organizational, and emotional shape differ from that of previous communist parties. These conversations may take the form of dialogues, letters, walks, and collective drawings and diagrams. This project builds on my previous and current practice – Weed Party: Shanghai (2014-15, focusing on the botanical footprints of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai) and Weed Party: Taipei (current, focusing on ecological impact of the Nationalist Party’s retreat from Mainland China to Taiwan in 1949). The Fellowship will allow me to further my long-term project of rethinking internationalism, expanding the notion of an international alliance of the working class to incorporate other working beings."
Image: Zheng Bo, Garden (Lane 62, Zhaojiabang Road), 2015. Weeds, soil, tiles, bricks, window bars, ads, garbage. 297 x 543.5 x 100 cm. Credit: the artist and Leo Xu Projects
- "Indochina’s products", volume 5, "Medicinal products", at the library of Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, May 2016. Picture : Zheng Bo.
- "Medical material and pharmacopoeia from China and Indochina", at the historical library of Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, May 2016. Picture : Zheng Bo.
- Serge Volper (head of the historical library of Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale) and Zheng Bo, May 2016. Picture : Zheng Bo.
- Zheng Bo’s planting tray in Pernod Ricard Fellowship’s studio at Villa Vassilieff, May 2016. Picture : Zheng Bo.
- Anthriscus Sylvestris, in Pernod Ricard Fellowship studio at Villa Vassilieff, May 2016. Picture : Zheng Bo.
- Zheng Bo et Yona Friedman, dans l’atelier de l’architecte, juin 2016. Courtesy : Zheng Bo & Villa Vassilieff.