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Somerset House commission ‘Bamboo as Method’

[22.02.24 – 28.04.24]


Zheng Bo


Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, United Kingdom

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Pleased to share the newest edition of the annual Somerset House courtyard commission Bamboo as Method by Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo. Using over 300 bamboo plants, the installation creates a place for contemplation and serves as a reminder of the importance of human-plant intimacy within the urban landscape of Somerset House and central London.

Set in contrast to the neo-classical architecture surrounding the courtyard, Zheng invites visitors to temporarily disconnect from their fast-paced, hyper-connected culture by immersing themselves in the garden that surrounds them and by taking up the activity of drawing. Participants are encouraged to select from ten different species of bamboo arranged in alcoves with seating, to spend time sketching the unique characters of individual leaves on biodegradable paper. Visitors can hear from the artist directly by scanning a QR code, with Zheng’s voice guiding them through the activity, creating a more intimate connection with the artist and in turn, the work itself. When completed, participants’ drawings are composted into the soil to fertilise the garden – completing a cycle of creativity and ecology.

Zheng’s commission, as with their overall practice, is informed by eco-queer thinking, which takes a non-binary perspective, redistributing the power that humans are usually assumed to have over nature. Such an approach asks what we can learn from the natural world when we take the time to cultivate deeper and more intimate connections with it.

– Courtesy of Somerset House.