Noah’s Garden is an experiment, intended to examine if modern people can save themselves after being inundated with the flood of knowledge and information. However, we are traversing this flood with Noah’s Garden, not Noah's Ark. There is no one in the garden, only an installation with which people can engage. There are no clean or unclean birds or beasts in the garden; there are only images and visual specimens. The garden is filled with plants and grasses, and there is no dove to fly across the flood bringing news of the land, because the land is enveloped in the garden. We are traversing the flood of knowledge and information that humanity has created. Where are we going? We don’t know.
Deng Guoyuan’s Noah’s Garden has a unique transitional quality; it is an experiment in the continuing existence of humanity in modern times.
A fundamental anxiety has emerged with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With the development of virtual reality, people have gradually lost the connection between human body and the universe, as well as that between the human body and the material world. Human beings have slowly become alienated animals that create their own lives, fantasies, and moods in a state of fabricated emotion. This situation becomes even more serious with the progress of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. When modernization and the First Industrial Revolution were taking place, people realized that they had been alienated from the products they were making, which immediately fostered an antagonistic, critical attitude and the desire to find an outlet. This alienation is even more intense today. It directly threatens our basic ethics and physical existence (existence as a true natural person). The Fourth Industrial Revolution has transformed knowledge into technology at a faster speed. And technology has facilitated the precise and extended reproduction of knowledge, thereby forming a larger sea of knowledge and information. As the flood spreads, humans become insignificant and their spirits wither. Thus, the presence of the Ark questions whether humans can continue to exist. Is this the last generation of human beings? In the future, will we be able to traverse the flood of knowledge and continue to live as people? As real people? As complete individuals? These experiments and inquiries are what make this work contemporary.