Size: 800mm (L) x 600mm (W) x 1000mm (H)
Medium: Wood materials from a fallen Taiwan Acacia, metals, polylactic acid
Typhoon Mangkhut caused many trees to collapse in Hong Kong, including Taiwan Acacia, an exotic yet commonly found species in Hong Kong, which has an average lifespan of only 50 to 60 years. In recent years, the Hong Kong government has launched the ‘Enhancement Programme of Vegetated Slopes’ initiative to replace ageing Taiwan Acacia with native species like Gordonia and Sweet Gum. The fall of the Taiwan Acacia confronts us to rethink the ways we can care for the plants in our community.
The Chinese title 「萌櫱」 represents the new shoots that regenerate on trees after felling, and can also convey the meaning of being small and negligible. Yet, even with the roots and crown chopped off, new sprouts can still grow on a tree’s decaying body, as long as nutrients remain in its core. This piece uses Taiwan Acacia as the main medium, with mechanical flowers placed on top, appearing to “sprout” from the fell tree, stubbornly striving to grow.
How many sprouts lie between collapsed trees?
Scent and bookmark
Size (bookmark): 150mm (L) x 40mm (W)
Medium: Paper, essential oils (Lemon Eucalyptus, Cypress, Cajeput, Pine)
Trees are inseparable from the city. Their existence gives us more than just shades and beauty; like family, trees accompany us throughout our lives. Nevertheless, trees are a lot more fragile than we think; at times, it takes a tree to collapse in front of our eyes before we even acknowledge their existence. During the stormy season in Hong Kong, many trees would fall, leaving broken branches and leaves scattered on the ground. A faint fragrance would remain in the air for several days, bringing a refreshing petrichor to the city.
The piece highlights the fragrances of Lemon Eucalyptus, Cypress, Cajeput and Pine - common urban trees on the streets of Hong Kong - without the scents of other widely found flowers, such as White Jade Orchid Tree and Frangipani. Though Cajeput blooms in mid-summer to early fall, due to its height, its fragrance is not easy to find. It is not until after a storm that we can truly experience the petrichor, reminding us of the many seasons we shared with our trees.
The four essential oils are extracted from the branches and leaves of the trees. Viewers are invited to drop these oils onto the bookmarks to smell the petrichor from the trees of Hong Kong. Articulating the scents of nature, I hope my work can allude to your fond memories with different trees, and allow you to enjoy a scene different from what you normally see.
Kinetic wooden installation
Size (base): 350mm (L) x 350mm (W) x 400mm (H)
Size (phenakistoscope): 150mm (L) x 200mm (W) x 630mm (H)
Medium: Wood materials from a fallen Taiwan Acacia, metals
A Cycle of
Life and death is an endless cycle for living things, all of which takes origins in our mother nature. A tree’s annual rings can document the cycle of life, the evolution of times, and the return of life to its origins. They remind us that human history has cycled through thousands of years.
Made from a fell tree, the phenakistoscope rotates clockwise as the character on the wooden piece begins his life cycle. From birth, living to death, humans coexist with nature in every step of the way.
Indeed, we are all just a part of nature.
Size (curtain): 1000mm (L) x 3000mm (H)
Size (base): 320mm (L) x 300mm (W) x 950mm (H)
Size (specimen): 500mm (L) x 500mm (W) x 300mm (H)
Medium: Wood materials from a fallen Taiwan Acacia, curtains
of A Tree
It does not matter how much rain or wind they endure. As long as they are alive, trees will attempt to start their own self-healing mechanism, reflecting their infinite possibilities of life.
Trees make records of their life experiences in their annual rings, similar to how human records. Through time, trees will absorb, transport and accumulate nutrients in their bodies. Just like a photographic process, the experiences are compounded and transformed into a reflection of life.
This piece takes a close examination into the trunk of a fallen Taiwan Acacia through anatomy. From observing the tree’s shape and annual growth rings, to examining its life history through its dissected layers, the entire anatomical process, along with the changes in various parts of the tree trunk, is documented on film negatives.
On the surface, trees appear strong and impermeable by external objects. Yet, while performing the anatomy, I often heard strange sounds coming from the tree. Slowly, I realised that the sounds were made by longhorn beetle larvae. They gnawed at the inside of the tree, turning the tree into its own nourishment. It’s astonishing how transformations in one living being could nourish another life form.