Human Ip

葉曉文

Human Ip

Writer, artist
Interests: Hong Kong’s flora and fauna

I live in a city, but I always long for the mountains.

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Writer-artist Human Ip’s written works on nature began in 2013, when she was commissioned by a magazine to paint a collection of local species. When asked by the publisher to create In Search of Flora, she began exploring the mountains, documenting the animals and plants she saw with only a pen and a watercolour brush. She gained knowledge on ecology by studying on her own.

While working on In Search of Fauna, she ventured on her own to camp on Tai Mo Shan to get a better sense of living in the wild. Despite being petrified during the night, it also dawned on her that humans are just passers-by, while animals are the true inhabitants. Since then, she would spend days in the wilderness. In 2019, she became the artist-in-residence at the Mui Tsz Lam Art Revitalisation Project, painting murals for the deserted village. Living alone in an uninhabited village, she also started growing her own vegetables in these abandoned gardens.

Writing a novel was a new attempt for the artist. In Hermit In situ, 46 native animals and plant species are featured in the book. Using metaphoric references to describe nature as the protagonist, her prose addresses her readers directly and allows even the rarest species, like the near-extinct Rough-skinned Floating Frog, to live on in imagination amid the landscape of Hong Kong.

Human likes to describe her work as "a prism refracting rays into a rainbow." Introducing Hong Kong’s ecology through multifaceted angles, her art and literature allow readers to appreciate the biodiversity of the city through a different lens.

作家、畫術家
生態愛好:本地動植物

我住在城市裏,卻時時心繫山上

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葉曉文(曉文)是作家和畫家,著作包括介紹香港動植物的圖文集《尋花》和《尋牠》系列,出版至今已加印五次,亦著有小說《隱山之人In situ》。她與大自然的紙上邂逅始於2013年,她受雜誌委托繪畫一系列本地原生物種,出版社看到後找她創作《尋花》。於是她開始遊歷山野、以文字畫筆記錄沿途動植物,生態知識都是邊行邊自學。

寫《尋牠》時,為了解野生動物的生活感受,獨自上大帽山露宿。雖然嚇壞了,但體會到「人在自然只是過客,動物卻是確切落戶的原居民」。此後的她,不是在山中就是往山中的路上,每星期總有兩三天在山上過。2019年成為「梅子林藝術活化計劃」駐村藝術家,為荒村畫壁畫,獨自在無人村生活,開始在廢置園圃種菜。

小說是繼圖文集後的新嘗試,《隱山之人In situ》共計有46種本地動植物登場。有別於散文,透過小說創作,她可以讓自然當主角「我」,人物成為「你」,也可以讓已在香港野外滅絕的尖舌浮蛙繼續在香港山水間活着。

「就像菱鏡會將普通的白光折射成彩虹」,她着意透過不同的藝術、文學形式,向公眾介紹她喜愛的香港生態,讓大家可從不同角度去了解、欣賞香港大自然。