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Drawing Life

[09.07.24 – 31.08.24]


Zheng Bo


12/F, Blue Box Factory Building, 25 Hing Wo Street, Aberdeen, Hong Kong 

(Related files)

Kiang Malingue is pleased to announce a display of three sets of Zheng Bo’s “Drawing Life” works on paper on the 12th floor of its Tin Wan space. The new iterations of Drawing Life (Beginning of Spring), Drawing Life (Rain Water), and Drawing Life (Waking of Insects), all made in 2022, bind the individual works in the form of traditional Chinese art albums, emphasising the intimacy and counter-encyclopedic aspect of Zheng Bo’s drawing practice.

Since 2020, Zheng Bo has been creating an ongoing series of “Drawing Life” drawings by visiting their plant neighbors up the hills behind their village on Lantau Island and sketching them. For Zheng Bo, drawing means spending time getting to know the plants. They describes how this peaceful practice “feels like a meditation.” The title of the series inverts the conventional artistic practice of life drawing in which people are depicted, signalling instead how Zheng Bo focuses their attention beyond the human.

Individually named after 24 terms in the traditional East Asian lunisolar calendar—such as Beginning of Spring (the 1st of the 24 solar terms, referring often to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 315°), Rain Water (the 2nd of the 24 solar terms), and Waking of Insects (the 3rd of the 24 solar terms)—the drawings correspond to particular ecological events and signify diverse developments of natural phenomena. In recent years, Zheng Bo has become less interested in identifying the species by using apps, websites, and books, than in simply sitting and being with them, slowing down, looking carefully and appreciating nature.

With “Drawing Life”, Zheng Bo has developed an understanding of the politics of plants, as well as making notes that serve as both prologues and epilogues in-between other major artistic-ecological projects, recording the cycle of life in detail.