As we seek a more equal co-existence between humans and non-humans in the face of climate change and mass extinction, how do we think about knowledge beyond conventional archives and collections? Zheng Bo—artist and scholar in residence at AAA—reimagines ways to approach collections from an ecological perspective. He asks how we interpret archives and collections as cycles of knowledge—produced and then composted—rather than as bodies of materials preserved forever. He also looks at gardens, seeds, and genes as sites of knowledge—not only producing but distributing knowledge across time and space.

As part of his residency, Zheng Bo conducts conversations with scientists around the idea of “living collections”; leads a walking and drawing exercise; moderates a roundtable discussion; and makes interventions in the AAA Library.

AAA Library Interventions
14 February–6 March 2019

Zheng Bo brings in forms of living matter into AAA Library—small in scale and diverse in nature. These may include winged seeds collected by the late artist Ha Bik Chuen, a small box of local weeds, or a note of gratitude to plants that made paper and electricity. Zheng Bo invites us to see libraries as ecological spaces, and to imagine knowledge as more-than-human endeavours. 

Tea Ceremony | Resham Daswani
Saturday, 23 February 2019, 11:30am-12:45pm
A Space, AAA
Limited to 12 people 

Tea Ceremony | Resham Daswani
Tea Ceremony | Resham Daswani

Join Resham Daswani for a traditional tea ceremony, organised as part of Living Collections. This intimate gathering will introduce the bowl tea brewing method, and offer an opportunity to reconnect with nature and reflect on beauty in simplicity. We will enjoy tea together in silent meditation. Click here to register.

Walking and Drawing Exercise with Zheng Bo
Saturday, 8 December 2018, 10am–12pm
Please gather at AAA Library on 11/F.
Limited to 8 people

Zheng Bo leads a walk in Sheung Wan and Central, observing and drawing weeds between the cracks. This silent and collective exercise asks how one can slow down in an urban centre, learn from plants, and imagine non-anthropocentric worlds.

Discussion: Living Collections

Video (1hr 24min)

Saturday, 15 December 2018, 11:30am–1:30pm
Please meet us at the entrance of AAA at 11:15am (G/F), or at the herbal garden of the Museum of Medical Sciences at 11:30am.

We will first walk as a group to explore the nearby medicinal garden at the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, where Rose Mak, the chief gardener, will greet us.

When we return to AAA, Zheng Bo will engage in a conversation with David M. Baker, Assistant Professor at the Swire Institute of Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong. Baker’s research focuses on ecology, conservation, and biodiversity. Baker and Zheng will explore how non-human beings practice knowledge.

Three respondents will also contribute to the conversation: Michael Leung, artist/designer, urban farmer, and lecturer; Michelle Wong, AAA Researcher; and Özge Ersoy, AAA Public Programmes Lead. Together we will brainstorm how knowledge production can become more ecological, and how knowledge composting might be realised.

All events are free and open to the public with registration.

Zheng Bo lives in Hong Kong. His practice centres on plants and politics. He has worked with museums and art spaces in Asia and Europe, including Parco Arte Vivente in Turin, Villa Vassilieff in Paris, TheCube Project Space in Taipei, and Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, among others. He teaches at the City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media.

Zheng Bo’s residency is part of Who Owns It?, a series that considers users as active participants with the agency to change institutions. How do people build a sense of ownership or community around a common aspiration? What unites a seed collector and museum curator, or a refugee camp and an impermanent shrine? AAA asks artists, architects, farmers, and scholars to reflect on users that produce, collect, build, and destroy.

Zheng’s residency is a programme under The Ha Bik Chuen Archive Project (2016–19), generously supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

Zheng Bo and AAA would like to thank Dr. Rose Mak of Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences; Dr. David M. Baker of the University of Hong Kong; Prof. Chen Hubiao of School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University; Michael Leung; Wynton Tsui; and Resham Daswani for their contribution.



Relevant content

HOME (1)
On Public Mindedness: In Conversation with Vasif Kortun
Ideas | Conversations

On Public Mindedness: In Conversation with Vasif Kortun

Being public is not a given, it has to be earned. Vasif Kortun and Özge Ersoy discuss art institutions, publics, and institutional alliances

Phoebe Wong in Conversation with Ozge Ersoy
Ideas | Conversations

Phoebe Wong in Conversation with Ozge Ersoy

On artworks, museums, rivers, and distributed ownership