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Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Jianan Wang

Starting with the figure of the herbalist or apothecary, this project considers the interconnection of art, medicine and plants via the number five and the quincunx pattern. A quincunx is a set of five objects arranged in such a way that four are at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth is at its centre – like the five on a dice. It is embodied in the motif of the lozenge from Thomas Browne’s 1658 text The Garden of Cyrus, in which the number five stands for a sacred geometry of self-similarity in the plant kingdom. This metaphor is used to (re)construct a healing ecosystem of plants and medicine formed of five artists in isolation and five historical medicinal plants from five apothecary histories. 

Artist Rachel Pimm has collaborated with four other practitioners across disciplines – artist Lilah Fowler, composer HP Parmley, poet Daisy Lafarge, and chef and designer Peiran Gong – on an exploration of medicinal plants, sounds and breathing. The plants are recorded to form choral, poetic, edible, written and visual compositions, which seep into each other. Made to heal, breathe and sing in time with the earth and its seasons, the work employs these histories to decode the link between modern life and nature. 



Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Jianan Wang is a self-appointed curator and researcher, who is interested in the intersection of contemporary art and theatre. She has particular interests in performance art, moving images and sound installations, and explores the constructed situation in relation to audience perception and spectatorship. 

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