February 1, 2019

Must We Harm Other Species To Survive?

Wendy Law


One day, I was overwhelmed by a sudden urge to draw something. Strokes after strokes, this dream-like bird, resembling a toucan, appears itself on the paper. A thought struck me – the production of papers that requires logging, are destroying the forests – the very habitat of birds. In a way, it is a very ironic process of destruction, in order to simulate the destructed. I have probably harmed a bird in the process of acquiring the drawing materials. We are unconsciously/consciously, unwillingly/willing harming other animals in our everyday activities, no matter is it eating, clothing (esp. leather), housing, or a random act of painting – just like this one. I’ve decided to take this series of photos in order to remind myself and viewers the value and costs of the “normal” daily objects and activities in life – the potential harm it could have done to other animals. Must we harm other species to survive and live? I feel that I have also participated in this act of harming, and I am left with only the reflection of how valuable everything is, given the origin and meaning of it. All I could do, is perhaps, to enshrine the bird by this series of photographs…


It is a series of photographs of a painting, which should be viewed by the specific order (1->2->3).

1. Grave of a bird
2. Enshrine
3. Isolation (The falling of forests)

Watercolour pastels on paper
Photo model credit: Ka Wing Pang

Cover photo: Cage