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BBR 1 – No. 1 of Blossom Bud Restrainer is a fictional promo-video for a plant hormone developed by scientists at the Beijing Institute of Landscape Architecture in 2014. Its major effect is to restrain the growth of blossom buds of poplar trees so that poplar catkins can be controlled.

Poplar trees are a plant species widely cultivated in Europe, Asia, and North America. In Beijing alone they number about 5 million in total, half of which are female. In spring the female trees blossom and set free poplar seeds, or poplar catkins, which drift with the wind, resembling a massive snowstorm due to their astronomical amount. This brings a considerable environmental hazard, causing respiratory diseases, but also the risk of fire, as poplar catkins are highly flammable.

During the flowering season BBR 1 is injected to reduce the amount of catkins in the coming year. But it can only inhibit the buds and needs to be injected every year. However, after the injection, poplar trees will invest all of the energy usually used for budding and flowering in growing trunks and leaves. Trees will grow faster and bigger than before, thereby again raising the overall amount of catkins as a result.

Liu Chuang, born in 1978 in Hubei, China, is an art interventionist acting in the public space. In his performances and installations he challenges our perception of the details and patterns of everyday life. Chuang developed his artistic practice during his time in the boomtown of Shenzhen, and moved afterwards to Beijing where he currently lives and works.

Production: Liu Chuang, Beijing
Screenplay: Liu Chuang
Format: 1-channel video installation, Color
Running time: 5 min
Language: Mandarin

Photo: © Leo Xu Projects

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur