Chen Zhiguang is one of China’s best-known artists, who creates in his art a parable for life in the state. Externally, his art is about ants and ancient trees. Both reflect culture and nature in the traditional understanding of Chinese philosophy.
Here, his ants symbolically and physically stand for the strength of the community, which can only emerge because the individual in itself hardly plays a role. Chen Zhiguang lets his ant sculptures occupy entire rooms, the floor and the walls – seemingly in a never-ending flow, they crawl over every obstacle.
The depictions of gnarled, old tree trunks, which are formulated in Chen Zhiguang’s work as paintings, watercolours and sculptures, also symbolise the connection with nature, especially with the idea of literary gardens, which is held in particularly high esteem in traditional Chinese culture. Tree trunks, stalks and root systems show themselves as the energy centre of evolution.
The exhibition at the Ludwig Museum Koblenz evolves as an art based dialogue with the partner province of Fujian and continues a long series of important Chinese positions that have been shown at the Ludwig Museum since 2000. The exhibition is being created in close collaboration with the artist and with the support of the Kunstraum Villa Friede in Bonn.