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National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan*
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Exploring the Beauty of Plants
The Conservatory, Botanical Garden
February 2 – March 25, 2018

The botanical art of drawing the ephemeral allure of plants has not withered and died.

Plants instruct us through their behavior, through their interdependence with the environment, and through direct transmissions conveyed by spirit. As we grow more sensitive to the ways plants communicate with us, we encounter the depth of their wisdom, and become more capable of receiving the many kinds of healing they have to offer. Capturing the beauty of plants through art is a great idea – but why not take it one step further and visit the Museum's Botanical Garden for the new exhibition “Exploring the Beauty of Plants” running from February 2 to March 25.

With some 40 framed botanical paintings in watercolor of the botanical artist Wu I-zhen, “Exploring the Beauty of Plants” presents the beauty of species like the giant corpse flower and cycad fern. The giant corpse flower, native to South Africa, exemplifies the convergent evolution of species, while the cycad fern indicates that it’s a good companion of other plants with which can share the same environmental conditions and contrast in form and texture. Also, on display are unusual artifacts made of seeds, fruits, and natural fibers, including a Chinese fiddle made of fruits of Indian Barringtonia, a wishing tree that uses pinecones and a variety of colorful seeds to decorate it, figures of Mazu and her two servants named Quanli yan and Shunfeng er which are made of different fruits, and many more. All these artifacts are made by the Garden’s volunteers. Visitors are treated to a visually stunning display allowing them to explore the beauty and wonder of plants through art.

“I love both plants and painting,” said Ms. Wu at the exhibition opening reception, “I started my watercolor painting at the age of 50 when my children have grown up. As a budding botanical painter, I grew many wild plants to observe their organs and parts that became my inspiration. Thus my career in botanical art commenced. I indulge myself in the art of painting beautiful portraits of plants, and build a portfolio of studies as the foundation of my own creations,” continued Wu. “Well goes an old say: It’s never too late to learn. I encourage people of all ages: Pursue your dream bravely, think creatively, and dare to innovate!”

The Section Chief of the Museum’s Garden Yen Hsin-fu said, “In botanical art, more emphasis is placed on the aesthetic value of the plant but without the requirement for all the information required by the botanists. Ms. Wu paints plants in watercolor. She is able to paint multiple plants in well thought out compositions. It’s what makes her work transcend a wholly accurate rendition of a plant.” “Last but not least, I want to thank our many volunteers. This exhibition is indeed a collaborative effort between you and the Garden,” added Yen.

Exploring the Beauty of Plants” is perfect for children and adults during the holiday season!

Exploring the Beauty of Plants is presented by the National Museum of Natural Science. The Museum is extremely thankful for the support of many volunteers who provide vital assistance and services that make this exhibition possible.