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Textiles (MA)

Zheng Yuan

Chinese mixed media artist Zheng Yuan explores the intricate interplay between organic and artificial processes, utilizing AI technology as a key tool in his artistic practice. At the core of his work lies a fascination with simulating symbiotic models that envision a novel organic state of harmony between humanity and plant life. In these models, humans are deliberately portrayed as non-dominant agents, challenging the conventional Anthropocentric paradigm and emphasizing their equal standing with other living organisms.

Through his speculative art projects, Zheng Yuan prompts viewers to critically reassess their connection to the natural world and contemplate their place within the evolving landscape of the post-human era. By blurring the boundaries between humans and plants, he seeks to catalyse a shift in perspective, inviting a re-evaluation of our relationship with nature and an exploration of alternative modes of coexistence.

With an explicit focus on symbiosis and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of artistic expression, Zheng Yuan's work serves as a catalyst for introspection and dialogue. By questioning human dominance and embracing a more inclusive worldview, he endeavours to ignite transformative conversations about the intricate interconnectedness of all life forms and the urgent need for a harmonious cohabitation within our shared ecosystem.

Recent exhibitions include: 

  • Flowers, Zhujiajiao Studio, China, Shanghai. Winter 2020
  • Before Tomorrow, Art in Crisis Art Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London. May 2021
  • Plantasia, Singapore National Arts Week, Digital Media Art Exhibition, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur. Spring 2023
  • 'RCA2023' Graduate Show, The Truman Brewery, London. 13 - 16 July 2023


  • One of the creators of the visual background, Coronation Concert of the King of England, London. Spring 2023
Beautiful orchid, with parts composed of the structure of the human body, possessing a wondrous and graceful form.

In "Parallel Botany," we delve into a post-human realm where the merging of humans with nature relinquishes their dominant position. Through captivating sculptures, a surreal symbiosis unfolds between humans and the natural world, inspired by the allure of orchid mania and the symbolism of potted plants representing human control over nature.

Employing a hybrid approach, the sculptures intertwine orchids and potted plants, intricately incorporating the artist's own ears. This artistry of symbiotic fusion veils the human form, symbolizing the theme of decentralizing human existence. The subtle presence of ears within the sculptures acts as a concealed clue, subtly alluding to the enduring presence of humanity.

Integrating Chinese traditional craft, particularly the delicate artistry of velvet flower making, we witness the harmonious collaboration between humans and nature. This infusion beautifully showcases our shared history of coexistence and our appreciation for the natural world's abundant materials.

Through a veiled visual language, the sculptures gradually unveil the interplay between humans and nature, beckoning contemplation upon the delicate equilibrium between admiration and exploitation of the natural world.

Informed by the principles of posthumanism, surrealism, and ecological philosophy, the artist's work boldly challenges the anthropocentric perspectives that have prevailed for so long. It provokes a profound reevaluation of our intricate relationship with nature. By skillfully employing organic forms, textures, and materials, including the exquisite craftsmanship of velvet flowers, the sculptures ignite a sense of awe and wonder. The surreal presentation beckons viewers into a realm where reality and imagination harmoniously coexist.

Ultimately, "Parallel Botany" invites introspection and nurtures dialogue about humanity's rightful place within the intricate ecosystem, compelling us to ponder the potential consequences of our actions. By artfully blurring the boundaries between humans and nature, these sculptures ignite a transformative re-imagination of the innate and wondrous power that lies within the natural world.

Symbiotic Body, AI Simulation, 2023The AI animation showcases a symbiotic plant derived from the collaboration between an artist and an artificial intelligence system. The digital plants grow, wither, fade away, and regenerate within the metaverse.
Artificial intelligence synthesizes orchids in constant evolution.
Symbiotic Body, AI Simulation, 2023
a purple flower sitting on top of a black stand, intricate 3 d sculpture, trending on artforum, fully chocolate
Symbiotic Body 1- 2023This artwork utilizes mixed media techniques to create a symbiotic sculpture, aiming to portray the interconnected relationship between humans, nature, and technology. In this project, the Chinese traditional craft of velvet flowers symbolizes the collaborative relationship between humans and nature, while the flowers and tree trunk represent nature, and the use of 3D printing technology in the main structure represents technology.
The symbiotic sculpture portrays a black orchid with sturdy and robust branches, adorned with vibrant purple flowers.
Symbiotic Body 1The sculpture presents a decentred form of life, where humans occupy only a minuscule part, while the ears within the sculpture symbolize human existence.
Purple 3D prints entwined with fabulous branches.
Symbiotic Body 2
Pink like ears 3D printed with traditional Chinese craft pompoms growing together.
Symbiotic Body 33D printing combined with the traditional Chinese craft of velvet flowers.
Artificial intelligence-generated orchids
Parallel Botany Laboratory
Artificial Intelligence Reference
Traditional Chinese handicraft silkflowers
3D printing materials to try
3D printing materials to try
Flower drying experiment