Zhang Wenyuan (March 8, 1711–January 11, 1764) courtesy name Shanchang, was a Chinese travel writer and explorer during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912). He traveled throughout China for more than 30 years and documented his travels extensively. Documentations of his travels were compiled posthumously in The Travel Diaries Zhang Wenyuan.
Out of all his explorations, the strangest one in his book was about a life-form between microbes and spirits, called shadow bugs. From March to June in 1749, he traveled to Nanze Island in order to figure out the cause of a fatal infectious disease. This turned out to be the shadow bugs. Due to the limitation of the science at that time, he was not able to understand them fully and clearly, but his diary provided lots of important clues to a research group in 2046 who solved all the mysteries.
The exhibition presents historical materials relevant to Zhang’s diaries and an explanatory video made by the research group in 2046.
Qi Tan (b. 1994, China) focuses on using plants and nature as a metaphor to reflect upon personal anxiety and uncertainty. She works interdisciplinary with illustration, installation and video.
Photos from the Exhibition by Eivind Egeland: