CONF May 31, 2023

Cohabitation (online, 3 Jun 23)

online / Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Jun 03, 2023
Registration deadline: Jun 3, 2023

Nora Wölfing

We cordially invite you to our upcoming online SYMPOSIUM “Cohabitation – Worlding the Sinophonecene and Planetary Aesthetics in Contemporary Art,” the 2nd International Gathering of the Research Network for Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art (ReNetMoCoCA) on

Host/Chair: Franziska Koch (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and Universität Heidelberg)

Organizing Team: Cila Brosius (independent curator), Nora Wölfing (Freie Universität Berlin), Xuan Ma (Utrecht University)

Keynote Speaker: Hai Ren (University of Arizona)

Invited Speakers and Discussants: Wenny Teo (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Suk Man Yip (University of Heidelberg), Antonie Angerer (Freie Universität Berlin), Anna-Viktoria Eschbach (TU/e Eindhoven), Mia Yu (independent curator), Liu Mankun (City University of Hong Kong), Isabelle Demin (independent researcher), Xiaofan Wu (Carleton University, Ottawa), Christopher Chan (University of California, Berkeley), Bettina Freimann (independent curator)

Please register informally by writing an email to
to receive access information (free of charge).

The Hong Kong based artist Zheng Bo (鄭波) uses the phrase “You are the 0,01%” to highlight the infinitesimal role that humans play in the planet’s biomass. Using grass as an organic medium, he creates a living sculpture of the shockingly small number that stands in complete disproportion to the disastrous impact humans have had and continue to have on Earth. Zheng is one among a growing number of artists in the Sinophone world, who investigate different forms of cohabitation and interspecies relationships, prompting viewers to consider what planetary thinking means in relation to being locally situated.

The symposium presents case study-based papers that respond to one or more of the following questions:

How does art from the Sinophone region negotiate the planetary complex and respond to the climate breakdown, capitalist extractivism, and environmental destruction?
What kind and how does art envision, enable, or even perform ideas and practices of cohabitation?
Are there culturally or historically specific ways of imagining interspecies relationships, non-human-centered cosmologies, and modes of cohabitation?
Is a term like “Sinophonecene” opening a new chapter of planetary discussion? Or does it inverse the cultural essentialist, nationalist, and human-centered thought of a “Chinese way” that contradicts a relational positionality?
Please find the detailed program, abstracts and biographies of all contributors following this link :


Date: Saturday June 3rd, 2023, 9am – 4:30pm CET.
Venue: Online Zoom Meeting, hosted by Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies


9:00 - 9:05
Welcome note Franziska Koch

9:05 - 9:10
Outline of the program Nora Wölfing

9:10 - 9:55
Keynote Prof. Hai Ren (University of Arizona)

9:55 - 10:10 Q&A

10:10 - 10:20 Short break

Panel 1

10:20 - 10:22
Introduction of the first panel and SukMan Yip
Franziska Koch

10:22 - 10:44
Frogtopia: The Embodiment of Taoism and Zen Buddhism in Frog King Kwok Mang
Ho's Art Performance (2011-2022) Suk Man Yip

10:45 - 11:05
The Stages and Performances of China's urbanization: An analysis ofthe
urban as a stage of political and economic power and its impact on the
urban bodies. Antonie Angerer & Anna-Viktoria Eschbach (joint presentation)

11:05 - 11:25 Discussion

11:25 - 11:35 Short break

Panel 2

11:35 - 11:37
Introduction of second panel and Mia Yu by Cila Brosius

11:37 - 11:57
Drone as an Affective Storyteller: Liu Yujia's Eco-Fiction. Mia Yu

11:57 - 11:58
Introduction of Liu Mankun Cila Brosius

11:58 - 12:18
Habitability as Praxes: the Cultivation of Nomadic Spacetime in Performance
and Moving Image Art from the Sinophone Grasslands. Liu Mankun

12:18 - 12:38 Discussion

12:38 - 13:38 Long break

Panel 3

13:38 - 13:40
Introduction of third panel and Isabelle Demin by Xuan Ma

13:40 - 14:00
Changing the Terms of Encounter." On Human-Plant-Relations in Zheng Bo's
Pteridophilia 1-4 (2016-2020). Isabelle Demin

14:00 - 14:01
Introduction of third panel and Xiaofan Wu by Xuan Ma

14:01 - 14:21
Tong Wenmin: A Walking Forest. Xiaofan Wu

14:21 - 14:41 Discussion

14:41 - 14:46 Short break

Panel 4

14:46 - 14:48
Introduction of fourth panel and Christopher Chan by Cila Brosius

14:48 - 15:08
Between Climate and Culture: Politics and Poetics of Contemporary
Art-making at China's Pelagic Periphery Christopher Chan

15:08 - 15:10 Introduction of Bettina Freimann by Cila Brosius

15:10 - 15:30
CLEAR RIVER, CALM SEA 河清海宴. Bettina Freimann

15:30 - 15:50 Discussion

15:50 - 16:15
Wrap-up Discussion and closing remarks. Franziska Koch, Hai Ren, and Wenny
Teo, moderated by Nora Wölfing

CONF: Cohabitation (online, 3 Jun 23). In:, May 31, 2023 (accessed Sep 29, 2023), <>.