Navigation auf


Art x Science Office

Mirror of Nature - Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai

  • "Mirror of Nature" in the Museum of Contemporary Art Pavilion in Shanghai, China. (© Swissnex in China)

  • The artwork "Fairy Mound" reminds visitors of the extinct animals. (© Swissnex in China)

  • "Mirror of Nature" shows synchronised videos of data collected over the course of a year at 21 biodiversity hotspots in 14 countries. (© Swissnex in China)

  • Mirror of Nature Vernissage 5

    The artwork "Natural Images Massage" is discovered by a visitor. (© Swissnex in China)

  • Mirror of Nature Vernissage 6

    Karoline Schreiber's work "Wiping Out" played on a loop on the outside wall of the pavilion. (© Swissnex in China)

  • Vernissage on December 15th 2023 with Han Bo, Dr. Li Bicheng, Cissy Yiwen Sun, Dr. Katharina Weikl and Philippe Roesle (from left to right)

Mirror of Nature
Biodiversity through the Lens of Technology and Art

From 15 December 2023 to 15 January 2024, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Shanghai will be showcasing the exhibition Mirror of Nature by the Art x Science Office of UZH. In this multifaceted art and science project, Chinese scenographer Zhu Yunyan collaborates with Swiss artists and illustrators Karoline Schreiber, Sophie Hengartner, Ida Künzle, Alexandra Kaufmann, Helena Klein, and Kerstin Zemp. They focus their attention on the visual data collected through a global research initiative on animal behavior. While encountering live animals through a video layer, animated illustrations remind us of species that have already become extinct, urging us to take responsibility.

An installation by the Geographic Institute in collaboration with the Chinese artist Han Bo complements this intimate encounter with satellite data by providing a global perspective on the dramatic loss of habitats.

We must act now to preserve the habitats of the animals that are still alive.

All four artworks are presented in depth here.

Exhibition duration: 15 December 2023 to 15 Januar 2024

Find out more

“ With the artistic exploration of the scientific data, a shroud is being woven which follows patterns of remembrance and guilt. Simultaneously, the collision of both an artistic and scientific approach revives the souls and bodies of the extinct animals. As they move through the space of MoCA Pavilion they whisper of the unchangeable past and yet vow the still possible future.”

Dr. Katharina Weikl, Head of Art x Science Office UZH

“ Using contemporary “mirrors of nature” in the form of cameras equipped with motion sensors, the project aimed to collect visual data for a year in twenty-one biodiversity hotspots across fourteen countries. The approach prioritized minimizing disturbance to wild animals. The collected data was then processed using artificial intelligence technology, resembling a 21st-century “mirror of the heaven and earth.” However, this method of organizing the world reflects a tradition from Pythagoras-Plato, staunch believers in the idea that “all things are numbers” and that the underlying support for the eternal world is geometric or mathematical models. Guided by this belief, they sought to lift the entire world out of the Heraclitean “chaos” and rechristen it as a “cosmos” with a universal rational order.”

Han Bo, Poet, artist, novelist, playwright, travel writer, curator

Weiterführende Informationen

Mirror of Nature: Reflections from the curators

More about Mirror of Nature: Reflections from the curators

As the poetic art-science exhibition, "Mirror of Nature," drew to a close, Dr. Katharina Weikl and HAN Bo took a moment to reflect on this journey into wildlife with Swissnex China. They shared their experiences, delved into the visionary and interdisciplinary nature of the project, and explored new possibilities for collaboration.

Art x Science Dialogues – Mirror of Nature

More about Art x Science Dialogues – Mirror of Nature

Swissnex China hosted a panel discussion with the exhibition’s curators, Katharina Weikl and HAN Bo along with Dr. LI Bicheng from the Shanghai Natural History Museum. Participants were able to gain insights into the curatorial concept and the stories behind this interdisciplinary project. 

Mirror of Nature: An Interview with Dr. Katharina Weikl

More about Mirror of Nature: An Interview with Dr. Katharina Weikl

Swissnex China interviewed Dr. Katharina Weikl, the Swiss curator from the Art x Science Office at the University of Zurich, to hear her points of view about this collaborative work on wildlife conservation.

Downloads: Press Release

Mirror of Nature was developed in collaboration with:

Find out more about all four artworks here.