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Art x Science Office


On 15 December 2023, the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MoCA) Pavilion officially opened the immersive exhibition Mirror of Nature: Biodiversity through the Lens of Technology and Art - an interdisciplinary exploration of art and science. The immersive installation is a collaboration between wildlife researchers and biologists from the University of Zurich and around the world, and a group of Chinese and European artists. Below all four projects part of the exhibition are presented.

Mirror of Nature

Mirror of Nature 万物之镜: Biodiversity through the lens of technology and art

Concept: Katharina Weikl; Illustrations: Alexandra Kaufmann, Helena Klein, Sophie Hengartner

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (MoCA) Pavilion is currently presenting the collaborative work Mirror of Nature. The immersive installation is a collaboration between wildlife researchers and biologists from the University of Zurich and around the world, and a group of Swiss artists: Sophie Hengartner, Alexandra Kaufmann, Helena Klein, Andi A. Müller and Kerstin Zemp.

The multi-layered art and science exhibition Mirror of Nature is based on the Triggered by Motionproject, in which video data from camera traps in 21 biodiversity hotspots in 14 countries around the world were collected, synchronised and transformed into films over the course of a year. The resulting films reveal global rhythms that alternate between day, night and the changing seasons.

The video data was originally used to scientifically examine the behaviors and communication of wildlife. Cameras with motion triggers make it possible to monitor animals in the wild without disturbing them or influencing their behavior. Although the human body is rarely present in the space that is under surveillance, it is still very much present in its absence. Climate change and loss of habitat is an omnipresent threat. Whilst the seriousness of these topics can't be denied, the visual research material illustrates a surprisingly unmediated poetry which allows chance encounters with the most elusive species.

The synchronised films will be projected onto the walls of the MoCA Pavilion along with animated animations of recently extinct species, urging us to take responsibility and reminding us of the urgency to protect the biodiversity that is still left. As they move through the space of the MoCA Pavilion, they whisper of the unchangeable past and yet vow to a future that is still possible.

The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Swissnex in China, the University of Zurich and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai. It serves as a testament to the ongoing efforts to strengthen Sino-Swiss research platforms and promote biodiversity research. 

Wiping Out 擦除

Karoline Schreiber

There are numerous animals threatened with extinction and many species no longer exist. They have been wiped out by humans. I am also a human being and therefore unfortunately partly responsible through my behavior, even though I don't want to be.

As an artist and draughtswoman, I was interested in this silent disappearance. So I drew some extinct animal species with a broom and then wiped them away again. The drawings are in painterly motion and are reminiscent of early cave paintings.

Natural Images Massage 自然影像按摩

Claudia Röösli and Jochem Braakhekke, Department of Geography at University of Zurich in collaboration with HAN Bo

Celebrate the intersection of environmental awareness and arts with this thought-provoking video installation, fully compiled from free satellite data. Immerse yourself in a captivating journey through time and space as timelapse videos unveil the dynamic transformations occurring on our planet: witness the stark realities of open-pit mines, the poignant retreat of glaciers, and the haunting scale of deforestation and urbanization. This evocative exploration serves as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to cherish and preserve the Earth's beauty, urging viewers to contemplate the impact of our actions.

Fairy Mound 仙丘

Zhu Yunyan

16 pieces of 10cm x 10cm felt artworks present partial fur patterns of extinct animals. Through a soft and warm tactile structure, they serve as a reminder that these animals once existed.

Weiterführende Informationen

Curators and Artists

Andi A. Müller | Mirror of Nature

Swiss video artist and video designer

Alexandra Kaufmann | Mirror of Nature

Swiss illustrator

Han Bo | Natural Images Massage

Chinese poet, artist, novelist, playwriter, travel writer, curator

Helena Viktoria Klein | Mirror of Nature

Swiss scientific designer

Karoline Schreiber | Wiping Out

Swiss artist
© Daniel Sutter

Katharina Weikl | Mirror of Nature

Head of Art x Science Office UZH

Kerstin Zemp | Mirror of Nature

Swiss illustrator and animator

Zhu Yunyan | Fairy Mound

Chinese graphic designer

Sophie Hengartner | Mirror of Nature

Swiss illustrator and concept artist