Chen Zhiguang was born in Xiamen, Fujian Province. He completed his art studies at Fuijan Normal University and is considered one of China's most important artists. In the past two decades, Zhiguang has repeatedly exhibited internationally. His art often refers to nature. The focus of his work is often on the ant as a symbolic animal. Based on traditional Chinese philosophy, Chen Zhiguang's sculptures are a parable of life in a country.
But this exhibition is not exclusively devoted to ants. In his works of dead tree stumps, Chen Zhiguang also deals with traditional Chinese ink painting and its special relationship to nature: man plays no role in nature, because nature unfolds without any action on his part. The tree, reduced to its trunk, retains its unbroken strength and visualizes the omnipotence of nature. The picture viewer, however, plays a calculated role in the reception of the picture and, through the picture, also of nature itself.
Chinese landscape painting is highly complex and coded in this regard. Painting a landscape means, above all, painting yourself – the Chinese landscape as an analogy to the human body. Rocks represent the bones, water is equated with the pulsing blood, grass and trees are skin and hair, and the clouds reflect the spirit. In this way, the landscape always resembles a mirror of the human body and also of the human soul. With this knowledge of the traditional view, the barren tree trunks and the bare roots seem strange. As a viewer, one looks for signs of life, but is often unsure whether traces of green already reflect growth and inner lifeblood.