Suixin Zhang

Planting the city

“Obviously, the theme is nature.

We are human beings, and nature has slipped away from us, er have become estranged from it.

We have methods for approaching it, for bridging the gap, for trying to understand nature.

One such method is science.

It asks questions and answers them with names and models.

However, it can only answer the questions which have been formulated.

But where questions can no longer be formulated and answers are nonetheless given, we are in the domain of art. 

– Paul-Armand Gette. <Transplant>

Project: Planting the City

-“Planting the city” is a hypothetic scenario that I have explored through practice-based research that aims to imagine a possible world where man-made objects or things have life of their own. It originates from my personal understanding and observation of the changes between the city and nature:

Within an imaginary city, buildings would then breath, feel, grow and die in the same way as other living things such as plants or trees.

-The project is going to divide into three parts. 

In the first part, I will create a “planting space” based on plant propagator (a covered, typically container filled with earth or compost, used for germinating or raising seedlings). In the second part, I will record the “growth process” of these small buildings in the form of photos and observation diaries (Pseudoscience record).

Third part: I shall walk in Birmingham to look for illegally growing green belts and plant urban bricks. Moreover, I will collect the elements affecting urban growth such as air, soil, and the plants in these environments through 100 self-made planting city record sheets. In the form of metaphor, I endeavour to imagine how the planting city grows.

Part1. – Building area (Installation), 2020
Part2. – Recording (Excerpts), 2020

Part3. – Recording Sheet (Excerpts), 2020

-The size of recording sheets( 10cm x 8cm) is to allow the audience to paste these records in any corner they want in the physical display room after finishing watching. I strongly encourage them to do so, since this action exactly corresponds to my planting behavior in the city of Birmingham. At the same time, the audience can be better encouraged to participate in the atmosphere created by the artwork.

Suixin Zhang

Zhang Suixin is an artist who expresses her attitude by exploring the contrast between different materials. Plants, paper and the practice of Chinese painting are the main elements of her works.

Those works generally focus on the fundamental question that affect normal life, such as natural decline, urban construction, and cultural conflicts. Besides, she also good at using tiny, unique personal narration to reshape these grandiose themes.




Contemporary Arts China