RAM@Campus Workshop: Artist Workshop with a Critical Zoologist

Venue: Shanghai Weiyu High School
Speaker: Robert Zhao Renhui

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About the Workshop

The Institute for Critical Zoologist (ICZ), a fictional scientific organization made up by artist Robert Zhao with a vision to communicating natural science outside labs and research institutions, is designed to provide alternative ways of presenting and experiencing natural history and ecological research findings. It engages in publications of research findings, seminars, installation artworks, photography exhibitions and performance art. In Robert’s “The Nature Museum” on view at Hugo Boss Asia Art 2017, various specimens, archived letters, photographic installations and other works are displayed to visualize the interactions and relations between nature and human beings in different periods and localities. From the production of colonial knowledge to the ecology of today’s urban areas, the artist envelopes extensive knowledge into this exhibition in the form of fictional narratives that interpret how people have intervened and controlled nature, so as to capture the audience’s attention and inspire them to identify the often overlooked paradoxes and assumptions.

Insects (or their bodies) can be found everywhere in a school. Big or small, they may be hiding on a windowsill, or in a corner, a crack or the grass, and get easily neglected, especially if it is so tiny that you can hardly spot it. In this workshop, the artist will share his art practices with the students at Shanghai Weiyu High School, and instruct them to make specimens of insects they collected from every corner of the school.

About the Artist

Singaporean visual artist Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983) works chiefly with photography but often adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, presenting images together with documents and objects. Renhui’s work includes the analysis on the relation between man and nature, benevolence and morality. How human’s attitudes and views affect our perception of nature is also one of his focuses. In 2010, he was awarded The Young Artist Award by the Singapore National Arts Council. His work has also been awarded The Deutsche Bank Award in Photography (2011) by the University of the Arts London.