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Hulsewé-Wazniewski Visiting Professor ZHENG Bo 鄭波

From 17 to 21 April, Leiden University will be hosting the artist Dr Zheng Bo. His stay in Leiden is generously supported by the Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation.


Everyone is welcome to join these events.

About Zheng Bo:

ZHENG Bo is an ecoqueer artist of ethnic Bai heritage. Through drawing, dance and film, they cultivate kinships with plants. These relations are aesthetic, erotic, and political. For them, art does not arise from human creativity, but more-than-human vibrancy. Currently, they teach at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, where they lead the Wanwu Practice Group. (

They participated in Sydney Biennale (2022), Liverpool Biennial (2021), Yokohama Triennale (2020), Manifesta (2018), Taipei Biennial (2018), and Shanghai Biennial (2016). Their works are in the collections of Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Singapore Art Museum, Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Tate (London), among others. During their visit at Leiden University in April, a series of events will be organized. Through talks, exhibition and workshops, Zheng Bo invites us to explore our interrelations of arts, humans and ecologies.

Throughout his stay, and afterwards (from 17 April to 1 June 2023), there will be an exhibition of Zheng Bo's Survival Manuals (2015 – ongoing). Kunstgang Leiden, Cleveringaplaats 1, Leiden ( opens in a new window)

Wednesday 19 April, 19:00 (previously scheduled 18:00): Exhibition opening

Zheng Bo has meticulously hand-copied three botanical manuals of edible plants which were published to support people’s survival during turbulent times. Famine Preparation Botanical Drawings (Biko somoku zu, 1833) was a response to a series of famines in Edo period, consisting of 104 drawings of comestible plants. Taiwan’s Wild Edible Plants (Taiwan yesheng shiyong zhiwu tupu, 1945), issued by the Japanese occupational forces, reveals the growing shortage of food during the last months of the WWII. In China, the Great Leap Forward (1958-60) led to widespread famine. The Shanghai’s Wild Edible Plants (Shanghai yesheng shiyong zhiwu, 1961), published by the Communist Party, was similarly aimed to alleviate everyday scarcity. Whereas each of these three manuals bear witness to a specific historical moment and human suffering it caused, taken together they offer new ways to understand the politicization of plants.

The exhibition at Kunstgang in Lipsius displays reproductions of the series of drawings from the three books.

Tuesday 18 April, 15.15-17.00: Zheng Bo's (City University of Hong Kong, the HWS visiting professor in spring 2023) seminar (Dao is in Weeds 道在稊稗)


Wednesday 19 April, 13:00-15:00: Zheng Bo's drawing class--Chinese botanicals in Hortus

Meeting at the entrance desk of Hortus. Max. 12 people, registration requested (via email: hwslectures@gmail.comLink opens in a new window) by 17th April.

This workshop will delve into the aesthetics, histories and usages of plants in the Chinese Garden of Hortus. The first part, guided by Zheng Bo, will focus on examining the aesthetic variety of flowers and herbs through drawing. The second part consist of a guided tour (in English) led by one of the specialists of Hortus.

The drawing equipment (boards, paper, pencils) will be provided. Since the workshop will be held outdoors, please bring your own umbrella/ raincoat in case of rain.

The entrance to the garden is sponsored by Hortus.


Thursday 20 April, 17.15-19.00: Zheng Bo's book launch (All that exists under the heaven) opens in a new window


** Dr. Zheng Bo's visit and the above events are generously sponsored by the Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation.

Zheng Bo by Kwan Sheung Chi