“The Pulse of Nature – Lung Fu Shan” is the 10th year celebration of Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre. During this time, the centre has sought to broaden perspectives and explore the environment in different ways with the general public. This exhibition continues in this tradition, and further examines the meaning of ‘environmental exploration’: How can we fully engage an environment and ‘exhaustively’ explore its different qualities? At what point do we truly sense the pulse of what we are exploring, and experience its connection with us?
In curating this exhibition, we re-examined and re-envisioned the centre and its environment. We discovered, with the centre as a starting point, going south or west brings you into Lung Fu Shan Country Park while going north will bring you into The University of Hong Kong campus (the two most chosen routes people explore with the centre). Going east, brings you to the urban space sandwiched between Bonham Road and Caine Road below and Victoria Peak above. This circle on a map, with the centre as a starting point, just so happens to be Mid-Levels West, where humans and mountains come together, where city and nature meet.
Of course, we have not forgotten our starting point, the centre —— our raison d’être for this fortunate opportunity to travel and explore this area together with you. For 130 years, these buildings have stood watch over Lung Fu Shan. Long before our centre was established, many had already lived a life here with the mountains in these historic buildings. Just like how long before Fu Shan Country Park was established, many morning walkers had already been walking here, shaping this hill and its forests. All of them, here long before we were.
As such, our decadal work here is situated with the centre’s history as one axis of time, travelling down 130 years of this little white house’s past and remembering the many stories of those who had lived in the mountains. The boundaries of Mid-Levels West serve as a second axis of space. In this, we have invited artists, novelists, architects and landscape architects to walk together with us out of this little white house, to explore its environment and to share their encounters of Mid-Levels West with you today.
In exploring different modes of imagination together, we were reminded of the academic term ecological thinking, a term emerging in academic discussions and research perspectives. Ecological thinking pushes the terms ‘environment’ and ‘ecology’ past their traditional use describing only the natural world or ‘non-human’ life, to a larger definition, including natural and cultural, human and non-human elements among others. This gathering and mingling of diverse elements in one space are precisely what create the most mesmerizing qualities embedded in ‘environment’ and ‘place’.
In this sense then, ecological thinking is a kind of imagination that allows one to fully-engage in and ‘exhaustively’ explore the environment. As such, the use of ecological thinking to imagine and observe the many relationships of the environment provides a bountiful joy of sensing, perceiving and hearing of its richly diverse pulses.
It’s been ten years. We hope this exhibition will inspire everyone’s imagination towards the environment. We invite you to begin roaming at Lung Fu Shan, across and into the mountain, forest and city with us. Let us explore, meander and experience our sense of being then, in the pulse of nature.
The Pulse of Nature - Lung Fu Shan