LASER Talks in Shanghai by Swissnex in China: Flora Insights – Intelligence, Artistry, and Evolutionary Marvels | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

LASER Talks in Shanghai by Swissnex in China: Flora Insights – Intelligence, Artistry, and Evolutionary Marvels

Delve into the captivating world of plants as we bring together distinguished experts for an immersive exploration of their secrets. This hybrid event will transcend geographical boundaries, allowing global participants to join in and be inspired. Our Esteemed Speakers: Ting Zhang, Curator at China Academy of Art, will unveil the fascinating art-science exhibition "The Power of Plants: An Ancient Vitality," curated by her. Felipe Castelblanco, Artist and Researcher at Institute Art Gender Nature (IAGN), Basel University of Art and Design FHNW, will shed light on his intriguing research project, "Plants Intelligence: Learning Like a Plant." Yigang Song, Associate Professor at Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, will offer profound insights into plant evolution from a scientific perspective.

LASER TALK SHANGHAI / Art x Science Dialogues

Flora Insights: Intelligence, Artistry, and Evolutionary Marvels


Event Date: Tuesday, 20 June 2023
Time: 18:00 - 21:00 (China)
Online: Zoom  | On-site:  Being Art Museum, Shanghai
For the rundown information, please click here.

Register for the event here!


Join us for an inspiring Art x Science Dialogue at Being Art Museum in Shanghai on the evening of 20 June! Immerse yourself in the captivating world of flora as we present "Flora Insights: Intelligence, Artistry, and Evolutionary Marvels."

Engage with our speakers as they shed light on the fascinating intersection of art, science, and nature, inviting us to contemplate the intelligence found within the plant kingdom. Prepare to embark on a thought-provoking journey that challenges our human-centered perspective. We are honored to have Ting Zhang, Curator from the China Academy of Art, sharing insights into her curated art-science exhibition, "The Power of Plants: An Ancient Vitality." Felipe Castelblanco, Artist and Researcher from the Institute Art Gender Nature (IAGN), Basel University of Art and Design FHNW, will delve into his research project on "Plants_Intelligence. Learning Like a Plant." Completing our lineup, we have Yigang Song, Associate Professor from the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, presenting a scientific exploration of plant evolution.

This event will be held in a hybrid format, allowing participants from around the globe to join the conversation and connect with the international art-science community. For those attending in person, you will have the exclusive opportunity to embark on a guided tour of the captivating exhibition, "The Power of Plants: An Ancient Vitality," further immersing yourself in the wonders of flora.

The Art x Science Dialogues represent a dynamic platform for fostering dialogue and collaboration between art, science, and technology. As Swissnex in China assumes the role of the official LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Host China, we aim to deepen our engagement with the international art-science community, facilitating exchanges, and inspiring new perspectives.

Mark your calendars for this captivating event that bridges art, science, and nature. Don't miss out on an evening of stimulating discussions and immersive experiences that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the botanical world and a more holistic understanding of life.

Speakers Bios


Ting Zhang, Curator, China Academy of Art

Ting Zhang teaches at China Academy of Art since 2001 and holds her PhD diploma in Museology. She has long been interested in cross-cultural ecology and contemporary art expression in the international context, as well as research-based creation and the comparison of geographical relations, and engaged in contemporary art curation, project management and art criticism. Exhibitions curated and co-curated by Ting Zhang have been national and international, and she has also been invited as curator to participate in numerous cultural exchange programs internationally. She is also a contributor for art media such as Art China, ArtCo China, Art Monthly, Public Art,,, etc.


Felipe Castelblanco, Artist and Researcher, Institute Art Gender Nature (IAGN), Basel University of Art and Design FHNW

Felipe Castelblanco is a multidisciplinary artist and researcher who works at the intersection of participatory practices, the moving image, and new media art. In his practice, he explores institutional formats and creates platforms for inter-epistemic dialogue. Recent exhibitions include the 2019 Quebec Biennial, Seasons of Media at ZKM – Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, and the project Water Territories at Helmhaus in Zurich. Felipe Castelblanco completed a practice-based PhD with the Make/Sense Program at FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel in cooperation with Kunstuniversität Linz, investigating avenues for biocultural peace-building through participatory art and media in the Colombian Andean-Amazon region.


Yigang Song, Head of the Plant Systems and Evolution Research Group, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden

Yigang Song, PhD, Associate professor, has been working in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden since 2012. In January 2020, he received his PhD from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) follow the supervisor Gregor Kozlowski (Scientific Director of the Botanic Garden of Fribourg). He received his master's degree from Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2012. He is currently the head of the Plant Systems and Evolution Research Group at Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden. His research interests are conservation biology, plant systematics and evolution, and biogeography that focus on oaks (Quercus) and walnut family (Juglandaceae). Up to now, he has published more than 40 scientific research papers and three monographs, such as “Wingnuts (Pterocarya) & walnut family”.



The Leonardo/ISAST LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 50 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website. @lasertalks

Swissnex in China, as part of the Swissnex global network, connects Switzerland, China and the world in science, research, education and innovation. Our mission is to support the outreach and active engagement of our partners in the international exchange of knowledge, ideas and talent. The six main Swissnex locations are established in some of the world’s most innovative regions: Boston, Brazil, China, India, Japan and San Francisco. Swissnex is an initiative of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland and is part of the Swiss Confederation’s network abroad managed by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

June 20th, 2023 from  6:00 PM to  9:00 PM
Being Art Museum,
No. 135 Hongfeng Road, Pudong District
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