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New Nature


My work embarks on a journey to explore the enigmatic realms of "New Nature", a world that encapsulates the present and future existential challenges of humanity.


Nature in Chinese Philosophy:

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of "nature" diverges significantly from its Western meaning. Western thought tends to be anthropocentric, distinctly separating the subjective from the objective and treating humans and nature as mutually exclusive entities. Humans are understood as cognitive subject, with nature the object of cognition. This narrow view of nature has today become prevalent and dominant. However, in Eastern philosophy, the concept of nature is far more inclusive, encompassing everything from humans, society, to realms of tangible and intangible knowledge. As stated in the "Zhouyi · Xici Xia," nature covers the ways of heaven, humanity, and earth, existing as the unity of these three foundations. The term "Laozi" emphasizes the harmonious unity between humans and nature: "Four primary domains exist, and humans occupy one of them. Humans follow the Earth, Earth follows Heaven, Heaven follows the Dao, and the Dao follows nature." This distinct understanding of "nature" has shaped the differences in thought, values, cultural traditions, and religious beliefs between the East and West. The "I Ching" is not only the origin of Eastern epistemologies of nature, but also profoundly impacts Chinese and Eastern philosophy and culture.


Traditional Chinese landscape painting, which often conceives of "trees" as a spiritual conduit, captures the essence of Chinese philosophy. The relationship between "landscape" and "trees" demonstrates the simplicity of Chinese natural philosophy. Operating within this intellectual and cultural tradition, my work reinterprets the relationship between "trees" and "landscape". It employs deconstructive and reconstructive artistic methods and incorporating elements such as “humans” and “pencils” to construct a “new natural” landscape. In this transformed landscape, "they" (humans, pencils, trees, and all entities as microcosms of nature) coexist interdependently, interconnectedly, and influentially, forming an organic whole, a fragment and unified process of cosmic evolution.


What is “New Nature”?

Today, we are immersed in a new natural world shaped by modern theories of civilization such as the multiverse, string theory, quantum mechanics, artificial intelligence, and genetics. The entangled and twisted pencils in my paintings not only point to the heights of human knowledge and achievement. Like the tremendous flow of information in the internet era, these objects display the complexity of new knowledge in the development of this new nature. Furthermore, these twisted pencils symbolize AI intelligence and futuristic cyber-technologies, yet not in terms of how artificial and human knowledge collide. The anthropomorphic “pencil trees” reflect a paradoxical unnatural and living state of being, suggesting that they’re suffused with a sense of mechanical intelligence. 


In my work, I integrate human elements within the frame, blending bodily and behavioral references with various objects like "trees" and "pencils" to delineate the mystical landscape of "New Nature." This landscape transcends traditional frameworks; in contrast to simple Eastern philosophy rooted in China's agrarian civilization, it represents a philosophical essence and more broadly references Chinese art and culture, embodying a "new Nature” and “new world" formed by human evolution and technological transformation. This new world reflects deep philosophical contemplations of how technology, culture, society can reflect a new cosmological perspective, both today and in the future.


My new work builds on traditional Chinese philosophy, presenting a new interpretation of its key tenets through deconstruction, reconstruction, and innovation. It depicts a "New Natural Landscape" of the contemporary world, aiming to explore and reflect on the existential challenges humanity faces and will continue to confront.

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