Humboldtians in Focus

Roll It!

Zhen Zhong talked to Regine Laroche

Zhen Zhong
Zhen Zhong
Photo: private

This photo shows me during filming for the documentary “Made in NRW” at Bonn’s container port.

How that came about? Have you ever been discovered for TV on your lunch break? Because that’s what happened to me. On a Friday the 13th, a WDR reporter in Bonn’s pedestrian zone asked me whether it was an unlucky day for me. It wasn’t: I’d received my fellowship that very day! He was apparently so thrilled that he promptly hired me for the documentary “Made in NRW”. Germany’s most populous state through the eyes of a Chinese person. My family were pretty surprised when I told them about it. I spent two weeks visiting various factories in North Rhine-Westphalia with a camera crew, and Bonn’s container port was also on the itinerary. We received lots of great gifts on our travels: perfume from 4711, socks from Falke, sweets from Haribo. Nonetheless, I’m not about to embark on a career in television. I’m now in Osnabrück, which has quickly become a second home to my husband and me. I love the city and its surroundings, I can enjoy nature here and find inspiration for my work. Osnabrück is very lively; there are lots of events and places you can visit. I particularly like the Cultural History Museum and the Felix Nussbaum Haus, which was designed by my favourite architect, Daniel Libeskind. The only thing that gets on my nerves here in Germany are the constant letters from the TV licensing agency, although our building superintendent has already told them that we don’t have a TV. But that won’t stop us from always remembering our stay very fondly. We will definitely be back.


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Zhen Zhong, assistant professor in the field of landscape design at Xiamen University in south-eastern China, is a guest researcher in Industrial Design at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, where she will be working until the end of August 2012. As one of the Humboldt Foundation’s International Climate Protection Fellows, she is conducting a project which examines how landscapes can be designed so that people become more aware of them – and thus also develop a greater awareness of climate and resource protection issues.

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