The exhibition World of Flowers: The Botanical Art of Zeng Xiaolian opened on September 29 at Contemporary Gallery Kunming.
Zeng Xiaolian (b.1939) worked for decades at the Kunming Institute of Botany, producing botanical illustrations of Yunnan’s unique flora. His work has been featured in many important botanical publications, and his postage stamp designs have been some of the most popular in Chinese history.
In this exhibition, local flower artist Huahua has transformed the museum into a living garden, guiding visitors through the four seasons alongside Zeng Xiaolian’s paintings of various plant species, many of them endemic to Yunnan Province. Chengdu artist Lei Jingyi has transformed Zeng’s painting of camellia flowers into a giant paper installation. The space also features sounds and scents to create a fully immersive experience.
The exhibition is \ curated by famous documentary director Li Chengcai, known for his award-winning Wall Street and Money series. He first met Zeng Xiaolian while researching his latest documentary series The Journey of Chinese Plants. He commissioned Zeng to create a 2.5 meter painting featuring many of China’s most important plant species. The resulting painting is a centerpiece of this exhibition.
World of Flowers: The Botanical Art of Zeng Xiaolian will be on view until November 18. Tickets are available on Damai.