Nicole Wong
Dead Bird
Paper, specimen pins, text

(written by artist)

Some say the habit of collecting things is from our human nature. People call this hoarding, and psychologists highlight the controlling and impulsive dark side of collecting, the need for people to have “an object of desire”. For me, collecting started as a routine in my childhood to appreciate beautiful things, for putting together a corner for my sacred objects. It was never about controlling the material but the impossibility of it. My first cabinet of curiosities displayed hand-picked petals and leaves, fish eyeballs and my cat's fur. All these organic matters were decaying in my cabinet, in a speed as if they were blooming again in reverse. Preservation was beyond my knowledge at that time. I boiled the petals and leaves into essence to capture the scent, resin coated the fish eyeballs to protect their iridescent finishing and stored fur in air-tight bottles just to make sure it would stay fluffy, but the decay never stopped. Preservation never truly prevent prevented any of my objects from aging, but preserved them as visual hints that hopefully help me travel back in time to relive a living past moment - an intangible memory. Dead Bird was created in 2013, was shown for the first time alongside four of my other pieces in a group show at Rossi & Rossi (Hong Kong), curated by Andre Chan. Dead Bird was completed on site. Precisely I was putting together the specimen pins, tags and the origami on the floor while setting up. The work started from the specimen pins that I had collected a year before the show,  merely out of my appreciation of their pristine beauty. The golden capped black enamel insect pin has a diameter of 0.25mm and is the thinnest & most flexible but leaves virtually no hole in even the finest materials. It was the finest tool for preservation and specimen display tool that I had came across. When I look at Dead Bird now, I can relive the humour that I once had.


有人說收集的習慣源自人類的天性。這種行為也被稱為囤積,亦有心理學家指出當中涉及到控制與衝動的陰暗面,人們對物件也總抱有慾望。之於我,收藏的行為始於童年,用以欣賞美麗的事物,也讓我為我的聖物築起一個特定的角落。我從不認為我能夠駕馭這些物品,而這種不可能性恰恰最為吸引。我的首個珍奇櫃展示了親手揀選的花瓣、樹葉、魚眼、和家貓的毛。這些有機的物質在我的櫃子裏腐朽敗壞,瓦解的速度有如逆向地開花一樣。 我當時沒有任何與保存維護相關的知識。我將花瓣和樹葉熬煮成精華,保存住香氣;魚眼則以樹脂包覆住,表面的虹彩不變;而為了維持住蓬鬆的狀態,貓毛被存置在密封的瓶子裏。然而腐壞的過程沒有停止。即使進行了保存的步驟,我的物件也無法逃離衰敗的結果,不過它們承載著視覺的提示,協助我重返舊時,再演無法看見的回憶。 我在2013年創作的《Dead Bird》與其他四件作品同時初次展出於香港Rossi & Rossi、一個由Andre Chan策劃的群展中。《Dead Bird》是在當場完成的。準確地說,我是在設展期間,即場組合標本固定針、標簽、折紙。在舉行展覽前的一年我已經開始收集標本固定針,動機單純是它們原始的美。金頂的黑色琺瑯蟲針直徑只有四份一毫米,最為幼細、有彈性,在最柔軟的物質上也不會留下可見的創傷。這是我見過最好的保存及標本展示工具。每當我望向《Dead Bird》,我都會重新經歷當時領會到的幽默。