What will happen when humanistic art meets paleontology research? What wonderful earth stories will they collide together to present? What inspiration will it bring to our current thinking about creatures and their life? PNSO Stories on Earth Sci-art Exhibition: The Secret of Wilson the Tyrannosaurus rex, the theme exhibition of the 2nd ShanghaiTech University Humanities Festival, officially opened on November 16. Through artworks such as paintings and sci-art models created by Zhao Chuang, a scientific artist, and popular science stories written by Yang Yang, a science writer for children, this exhibition will present these realistic lives.

A “real life” and a “realistic life” sound like two similar concepts but have entirely different connotations. Whether it is a “real life” should be proved by scientists, while demonstrating a “realistic life” requires artists to infer, restore, and create based on scientific research results and various artistic methods.

With the unveiling of “PNSO Stories on Earth Sci-art Exhibition: The Secret of Wilson the Tyrannosaurus rex,” we will get into the connotations of the above concepts and their connections, the interactions between science and art, and the combinations of working and creative methods through the creations of Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang.

The exhibition branches into two lines: one is “PNSO Stories on Earth,” showing the practice of Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang in the project PNSO Scientific Art Projects Plan: Stories on Earth (2010-2070); the other is “The Secret of Wilson the Tyrannosaurus rex,” taking Wilson the Tyrannosaurus rex as an example, analyzing how Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang adopted the creative methods of combining science and art to present these realistic lives.

PNSO: Stories on Earth

In June 2010, Mr. Zhao Chuang, a scientific artist, and Ms. Yang Yang, a science writer for children, launched PNSO Scientific Art Projects Plan: Stories on Earth (2010-2070). Based on the research results and cutting-edge discoveries of paleontology, they integrate the research methods of other subjects and use artistic methods such as painting and literature to restore unique and vivid lives in the long history. PNSO has independently completed or participated in a number of creative projects and research projects. The organization’s work has been shared widely and well received. In collaboration with professional scientists, PNSO has been invited by many key laboratories around the world to create scientific works of art. The organization has always been committed to supporting state-of-the-art scientific explorations. Many works produced by PNSO staff members have been published in leading journals, including Nature, Science, and Cell. In addition, PNSO has held joint exhibitions with global museums, thus helping young people in different parts of the world to understand and appreciate scientific art.

The Secret of Wilson the Tyrannosaurus rex

In the creations of Zhao Chuang and Yang Yang, they not only present the physical body of each life, including its skeleton, muscles, skin, and appearance, but also go deep into its spiritual world, paying attention to its growth experience from birth to death,  its friends, lovers and enemies, and the way it sees the world and its relationship with the world. This is the process by which they demonstrate these realistic lives. They are using the method of science and art to understand the complex and dreamy process of life evolution, and then understand every form of life, and understand the position of each life including us in the scroll of life on earth.

Time: November 16, 2022 – November 30, 2022
Venue: West Gate Hall, 1st Floor, ShanghaiTech University Library
Organizer: Institute of Humanities, ShanghaiTech University
Exhibitor: PNSO
Co-organizer: ShanghaiTech University Library and Information Center