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Artist moulds plastic bags into strange creatures

     A series of images of various weird creatures created with plastic bags will be on display at Sha Tin Town Hall from tomorrow (March 13) until March 31 to raise public awareness about environmental protection.

     The exhibition, "The Late Version of Shan Hai Jing - Works by Lam Yuk-lin", features installation works by Lam, who was inspired by creatures from the Chinese ancient literary classic "Shan Hai Jing" (The Classic of Mountains and Seas). She surmises that the rapid development of genetic modification and biotechnology may one day make these imaginary strange creatures appear in today's world.

     Lam specialises in creating art using different media. In 2001, she started her "Cultivating Civilisation" research project, creating works with different media, including site-specific installations, conceptual photography and video, to express her views on civilisation. In recent years, her works have shown a special focus on site-specific, conceptual installations at venues such as Victoria Prison, Times Square, Pacific Place, a house in Kat Hing Wai, the Outlying Islands Ferry Piers and the Lunar New Year fairs.

     The artist has distinct ideas about the subtle changes in our surroundings, and about the choice of materials for her creations. The conflict between the natural environment and human development has provided her with endless inspiration. The materials she uses encompass many things common in our daily lives, ranging from rice grains, Chinese herbal medicines and chocolate, to stones and bronze nets. For the works in "The Late Version of Shan Hai Jing", she chose plastic bags as her main creative medium. The plastic bags were collected from supermarkets, restaurants and chain stores, branded and unbranded, thick and thin, monotone and patterned, handbags and T-shirt bags, and brought together into one setting in a lively installation.

     The bags serve to reflect our urban culture of consumption, while some out-of-print designs have historical significance. Fortuitously, during the creation of this series of works the Government announced the imposition of a plastic-bag levy, aiming to curb the excessive, environmentally damaging use of plastic bags, making plastic bags a hot discussion topic around town. Certain discontinued plastic bags suddenly became rarities, endowing her works with a new significance. Moreover, the artist also makes use of the weird creatures featured in "Shan Hai Jing" to hint at the impact of genetic engineering and biotechnology. What appear to be everyday materials in fact carry reams of information for the audience to discover – this is a consistent theme of Lam's works.

     The "The Late Version of Shan Hai Jing - Works by Lam Yuk-lin" is the ninth and also the last exhibition organised under the Artists in the Neighbourhood Scheme IV by the Art Promotion Office (APO) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

     To coincide with the exhibition, Lam will meet members of the public and share experiences with them at the gallery on March 13 at 3.30pm The activity will be conducted in Cantonese and admission is free. For reservations, please contact the APO's Community Art Team on 3101 2712 or 3101 2713.

     Free guided tours will be offered to organisations and school groups. For bookings, contact the Community Art Team. To learn more about the artist and her work, visit the APO's website: .

     Sha Tin Town Hall is located at 1 Yuen Wo Road, Sha Tin. The exhibition hall is open daily from 10am to 8pm. Admission is free.

Ends/Friday, March 12, 2010


The picture shows a sketch created by Lam Yuk-lin who was inspired by the weird creatures from the Chinese ancient literary classic "Shan Hai Jing" (The Classic of Mountains and Seas). Based on these sketches, the artist created a series of installation works, "The Late Version of Shan Hai Jing".


One of the works in "The Late Version of Shan Hai Jing", installation art by Lam Yuk-lin.


One of the works in "The Late Version of Shan Hai Jing", installation art by Lam Yuk-lin.


"Plastic Bag Hong Kong Night Scene", an installation work by Lam Yuk-lin to reflect the excessive use of plastic bags in Hong Kong.





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