Drawing Weeds with Zheng Bo
The Chinese artist Zheng Bo is connected to Taoist thinking not only in his life but also in his works. His commissioned work "Drawing Weeds Practice" was exhibited in Berlin at the project space Kurt-Kurt and in the allotment gardens of Habsburg-Gaußstraße as part of the exhibition (re)connecting.earth together with another fifteen instructions, which deal with ecological issues and in particular with the relationship between human being and nature in urban space.
His instruction, although written with a Taoist thought, serenity in a poetic form, requires active participation of the audience. Zheng Bo invites the audience to turn off their phones, focus on themselves, choose and draw a plant and then bury the paper. As part of the exhibition (re)connecting.earth, this instruction was activated on 10 July at the Habsburg-Gaußstraße allotment garden association with the presence of the artist Zheng Bo. The drawing exercise, which was attended by a group of visitors, did not take place in the quiet garden, however, but under the artist's instruction on the surrounding streets. The most important requirement was that the participants were not allowed to talk to each other, as the instruction says: walk in silence. This absolute silence was in big contrast to the noisy streets. The participants were supposed to ignore the hustle and bustle of the city and find their inner peace to paint since the weed drawing exercise is also an exercise of serenity (无为).
The participants chose the weed that appealed to them and drew it in its original size. It was less about drawing perfectly but more about sharing a moment with the plant. The interaction of the participants resulted in them changing their own relationship with the plants and going beyond their conventions of drawing. At the end of the exercise, the drawings were buried in order to be decomposed by microbes. This offers the participants the opportunity to reconnect with the earth, as the title of the exhibition (re)connecting.earth suggests.