Zuning Qu's artworks tease and problematise the notion of "boundary" - this word, "boundary", constructed by humans to divide and establish categories. In the long river of a continuous change in the universe, humans’ cognition is constantly being reshaped by these changes. Human beings continue to reconsider the established division of things and challenge inherent biases - such as sexism, racism, speciesism, anthropocentrism, human dominion, and so on.
Her artworks employ living organisms as visual metaphors, making somewhat abstract theory into a more intuitive and visceral visual expression that may lure the public to engage and understand. Qu grows bacteria and other microorganisms in a 3D agar based “micro-world” to reflect on the issues in the macro world; growing different plants in a small human-constructed environment to coexist and eventually die in a complex and entangled ways.
Qu speculates that even a larger scale, human beings are just one of the entities that play their part in the changes of the universe. Living species and ecological niches are emerging and disappearing; will that be the fate of us - humans?
The main theoretical basis to contextualise these artworks comes from Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Theory, the Actor-Network Theory by Bruno Latour joined with Taoism in Eastern Chinese philosophy; following Lynn Margulis’s Endosymbiosis Theory to supports the important position of bacteria and other non/more-than-human beings in this world.