Workshop → Plants On Hands

Plants on Hands is part of a series of events, gatherings and work- shops under the title Interstitial Lives. The workshop, led by me and Chen Luo, weaves together observation and care from participants with their creative illustration of plants. The hands-on practice emphasizes locality and empathy. It opens up curiosity of nature and sensitivity to graphic patterns. During the workshop, participants are invited to depict the plants in the park by using a provided toolkit, which includes a designed ruler, color pencils, and other useful tools.

Interstitial Lives, proposed and organized by artist Che Yeh, is a community-oriented project that attempts to cultivate cross-species kinship between residents in the Boston Chinatown neighborhood, passersby and their ruderal plant neighbors— ones that grow in interstitial spaces, between buildings, highways and fences. The project focuses on one of the ruderal plants ailanthus altissima (commonly known as “tree of heaven”) and considers them as living monuments. They commemorate moments of self-organized resistance and embody multiple cultural, familial, and personal memories.

Chen Luo and I designed and hosted the workshop Plants On Hands that took place at Chin Park, which invited not only young kids but also anyone in the community to draw out natural patterns using our designed stencils.

The two-week long project features presentations, panel discussions, workshops, a walk tour, a massage session, and a temporary exhibition. Through these commingling events, citizens came together to vibrate with plants, to be massaged, to move alongside others and to collectively ponder on the question: how to live an entangled and interstitial life? The project is proposed and organized by Che Yeh with participants Darrah Cole, Anqi Gu, Baoyi Huang, Yuqiong He, Jiatong Jiang, Chen Luo, Kathy Liang, Patte Loper, dp patrick, Banu Subramaniam, CoCo Tin, Bella Tuo, Hyperion Çacatzin Yvaire. The events take place in Mary Soo Hoo Park of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Pao Arts Center, and the Chinatown Branch of Boston Public Library.