Exploring the aesthetics, intelligence and importance of trees through art forms

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Dong Jun / SHINE

Works by Fabrice Hyber exhibited at the “Trees” exhibition at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai.

The Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art’s “Trees” exhibition is in full swing at Power Station of Art, featuring more than 200 works from a community of artists, botanists, and scientists from around the world.

Highlighting trees as a major source of aesthetic inspiration for human societies, the exhibition also echoes the latest scientific discoveries that shed new light on the intelligence of trees. It invites us to consider trees, the source of our atmosphere, as true partners in a shared world.

The exhibition route weaves three narrative threads around the trees: aesthetic meditation, scientific knowledge and the drama of deforestation and the megafires that devastate the planet.

French botanist Francis Hallé has been studying trees for more than 60 years, compiling his discoveries in observational drawings and the notebooks that accompany him on his travels.

The Italian botanist Stefano Mancuso, pioneer of plant neurobiology and defender of the idea of ​​plant intelligence, presents in the exhibition surprising video evidence of their communication and memory capacities.

Combining paintings, monotypes and table-herbarium, the Brazilian artist Luiz Zerbini orchestrates the imaginary encounter of trees, borrowed from tropical botanical gardens, and markers of urban modernity.

The installation by French artist Fabrice Hyber revisits the genesis of his artistic and personal project to plant 500,000 tree seedlings in the valley adjacent to his family farm, gradually transforming the fields into forest and the landscape into a work of art. .

The exhibition is also enriched with works by Chinese artists. Hu Liu used to create a poetic concept by accurately capturing the shapes of plants in his paintings. Recently, she started coloring entire canvases with crayons, leaving only shapes and airflows in the dark and letting viewers find their own figures in the reflection of the paint, covered in wind, grass , waves and leaves.

Huang Yongping has a long relationship with the Cartier Foundation, which invited him in residence in 1989 and continued to show his work on numerous occasions.

During his residency, Huang began his first artistic creation in the Western world and developed a set of metaphors and symbolic grammar to “save the trees”. The exhibition presents photos of the installation he created at the Fondation Cartier, in dialogue with the trees that surround his workplace.

Trees have taken on many different roles in the work of painter Zhang Enli: wind, poetry, and characters. Four of his paintings are presented in the exhibition, like portraits of old people. These centuries-old tree trunks, though leafless, reveal their unique humor and self-confidence, as if telling viewers about the ordeals they experienced when they were younger.

The special installation by Italian architect Stefano Boeri and his Shanghai-based studio allows guests to explore the concept of Vertical Forest City, a series of next-generation urban skyscrapers entirely covered in tree leaves and plants that promote the co- existence of architecture and nature in urban areas.

Dates: until October 10 (closed on Mondays), from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Art Powerhouse

Address: 678 Miaojiang Road

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