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shen shaomin: bonsai series
original content
jul 06, 2010
shen shaomin: bonsai series


from the ‘bonsai series’ (2007-2009)
image © designboom

chinese artist shen shaomin connects art, life and craft with mechanics in major installations
that cover themes of war, futuristic crisis, scientific abomination and the manipulation of nature.
his work uses chinese culture to comment on contemporary ecological issues, politics
and technology.

shaomin’s ‘bonsai’ series (2007-2009), on show at the 17th biennale of sydney, uses the controlled
nature of the traditional bonsai art form to comment on human despoliation of the environment.
each ‘living installation’ is accompanied by a description with illustrations showing how each
plant has been coerced, or tortured into bizarre configurations.

shaomin’s ‘summit‘ is also on show at cockatoo island as part of the biennale.


image © designboom


image © designboom


wire cable, clamps, metal plates are used to ‘torture’ each bonsai tree into strange positions

image © designboom


the components are adjustable and can be moved according to the plant’s growth
image © designboom


one plant being pulled length-wise
image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


up close of one of the mechanisms
image © designboom


image © designboom


one of the plants being coerced to grow into an extreme curve
image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


cage like structures on each of the mechanisms aid in controlling the direction in which the bonsai plants grow
image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


image © designboom


the tools used to coerce and torture the plants into bizarre configurations
image © designboom


the tools used to coerce and torture the plants into bizarre configurations
image © designboom


the tools used to coerce and torture the plants into bizarre configurations
image © designboom

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