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Chen Zhiguang

Magical Rooms

Osthaus Museum Hagen, Hagen

© Villa Friede, Bonn

Chen Zhiguang, from Fujian Province, was born in Xiamen in 1963. In 1988 he graduated from the art department of Fujian Normal University. He lives and works in Fuzhou and Beijing. Chen Zhiguang is one of the most important artists in China today and has exhibited internationally over the past two decades.

For Chen Zhiguang, the ant is a symbolic animal. On the one hand it refers to the realities of life in today's societies - for example Chinese societies - on the other hand it is exciting to look at the relationship between the individual and society. Ants live in colonies or states. Ant colonies are organized based on division of labor and usually have three castes: workers, females (queen) and males. The necessary information is reproduced via specific antennas. The olfactory, i.e. fragrance-related communication also plays a major role.

Chen Zhiguang is fascinated by the behavior, the communication and the intensity of the work of these hymenoptera. In his installations, one becomes aware of rooms in which colonies have been recreated with sculptures that are next to each other and interacting with one another, which are mostly: 0.6 × 0.3 × 0.3 m in size.

In the Osthaus Museum Hagen, around 800 ants will conquer the rooms of the upper gallery and the Christian Rohlfs room and present the visitors with mysterious places. We are also presenting a series of tree pictures that reveal Chen Zhiguang's love for nature.

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