The “Shell Nature Watch – Butterfly Explorer” programme co-sponsored by Shell Hong Kong Limited and Green Power has marked July 14 as “7.14 We Love Butterflies Day”. This is the first specific day scheduled to recognise conservation and protection of an individual wildlife species in Hong Kong. To celebrate the third anniversary, the “BUTTERFLY x ART Installation Art Exhibition” was presented in collaboration with the renowned local glass artist KC Wang. Themed on butterflies, art, environmental protection and creativity, the exhibition is designed to make 3,714 coloured butterflies with recycled glass to promote butterfly care.
The opening ceremony of the “7.14 We Love Butterflies – BUTTERFLY x ART Installation Art Exhibition” was held today at the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. Guests at the event included “Butterfly Ambassadors” model Celine Yeung and idol group Super Girls, together with Mr Howard CHAN Wai-kee, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Department, Mr. Daniel Ng, Country Chairman of Shell Hong Kong Limited, and Dr. Cheng Luk-ki, Division Head, Scientific Research & Conservation, Green Power. The ceremony also engaged nearly 100 pupils from Yaumati Catholic Primary School (Hoi Wang Road).
Mr. Chan, Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Department, said, “Hong Kong has recorded more than 260 butterfly species subordinated to 11 families. Such diversity of butterfly species is very high. The ‘7.14 We Love Butterflies Day’ is very meaningful as it can make more citizens aware of locally abundant butterfly resources. This campaign creatively combines environmental protection with art. I hope it can draw the attention of more citizens to local butterflies.”
Mr. Ng, Country Chairman of Shell Hong Kong Limited, said, “Shell Hong Kong is very concerned about the protection of our natural environment and about sustainable development. We’ve been engaged in butterfly conservation for more than ten years. We are glad that more and more citizens are paying attention to local butterflies and have participated in our butterfly conservation efforts. Three years ago we identified ‘7.14 We Love Butterflies Day’ as Hong Kong’s first wildlife conservation day. This exhibition today is designed to make 3,000-plus butterflies with recycled glass, in an effort to promote butterfly conservation in an innovative way and spread the message of butterfly care throughout the city.”
“Little master” Celine and Super Girls “assistants” made glass butterflies together
Little model Celine and idol group Super Girls were specially invited to the campaign as “Butterfly Ambassadors”. While Celine acted as a little “master” teaching the Super Girls glass butterfly making, the five members of the Super Girls became Celine’s “assistants”. The “assistants” found some recycled glass items, and then the little “master” broke the glass into powder with a hammer and poured the glass powder carefully into the butterfly mould. After heating this in an oven, a glass butterfly was formed. The little “master” personally showed the “assistants” how to paint a glass butterfly with five colours – red, yellow, green, blue and purple. Based on this hands-on experience, the Super Girls learned how to make a glass butterfly. They were surprised at the tremendous workload required to make the 3,000-plus glass butterflies displayed at the exhibition.
Celine and the Super Girls painted pictures on large glass butterflies. Celine painted a forest on her glass butterfly. Child-like and interesting, the picture contains flowers and red fruits in the forest and two rainbows in the sky, representing the colourful world of butterflies in the little model’s eyes. The Super Girls’ glass butterfly is “mysterious”. It looks like a lady’s mask for a costume ball in four highly contrasting colours – red, yellow, purple and blue – implying that the butterfly is a pretty and colourful mysterious messenger sent by nature for communication with humans. The glass butterflies painted by Celine and the Super Girls remain on display at the exhibition.
Super Girls adapted themselves to butterfly species
Both Celine and the Super Girls said acting as “Butterfly Ambassadors” to promote butterfly conservation is very meaningful. Celine likes butterflies. “What I enjoy the most in the countryside are butterflies. Some butterflies are very beautiful, with bling bling wings. I hope everyone can protect them.” The Super Girls admitted that they had had little knowledge of butterflies before participating in this campaign but now they have begun to love butterflies since they are lovers of all beautiful things. Besides, butterflies are a unique symbol in their eyes. “Butterflies are colourful, just like life. We want a colourful life just like everyone else.”
Moreover, the Super Girls had specially taken time to learn about butterflies for this campaign in order to get more qualified as “Butterfly Ambassadors”. At the event, the five girls acted like butterfly experts. They even likened themselves to butterfly species based on their characteristics. They agreed that Aka, who is passionate, should be likened to the Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae), Cheronna who is jokingly called “little rich woman”, to the Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus), Jessica, who is delicate and touching, to Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon) that has jasper swings, and Heidi who is sentimental, to Metallic Cerulean (Jamides alecto) commonly known as Blues, while Yanny, who is the coolest of the five girls, was elected to be a Blue-spotted Crow (Euploea midamus) that is active in winter.
The campaign involves difficult glass butterfly making, engaging 100 pupils in butterfly painting
Glass artist KC Wang, who is responsible for the exhibition, said it is one of the most difficult exhibitions he has ever experienced. The difficulty was in control of material and time. To echo with the theme “environmental protection”, the campaign specially chose recycled glass as its raw material. “The recycled glass ingredients were different,” he said. “It was hard to get the correct solution temperature. This greatly increased the difficulty of making the glass butterflies.”
After many tests and improvements, Wang mastered the optimal process. But the remaining time after the tests was limited, and all of the 3,000-plus glass butterflies should be handmade. Wang used “the edge of failure” to describe the task. “After the glass powder was poured into the mould and heated, it should be cooled for some time before polishing and other steps. It’s no use hurrying. For colouring, since butterfly wings had complex patterns, only fine brushes could be used for gap filling, which was particularly time-consuming.” He said with a smile that the task of glass butterfly making made him both physically and mentally exhausted. Each glass butterfly was hard-won, but when he sees the amazing exhibition, he knows it’s all worthwhile.
Wang said glass is the most suitable material for butterfly making. “The most fascinating attribute of glass is its colour diversity. When glass interacts with light, there will be diverse dazzling colour effects. The 3,000-plus glass butterflies displayed at the exhibition are rendered in five colours and every gradient from dark to light. Sunlight refraction makes for even more colour effects.” The butterflies displayed are really true to life, as if they are dancing.
The opening ceremony engaged nearly 100 pupils from Yaumati Catholic Primary School (Hoi Wang Road), who acted as the first glass butterfly artists. Shum Yan Tung, a primary 3 pupil, painted her glass butterfly with a variety of colours. “I made my butterfly as colourful as possible. The prettier butterflies are, the more they will be loved. I hope I can convince more people to love butterflies.”
At the exhibition, you can come to the “Dress me up!” DIY Workshop to paint a glass butterfly with your own colours, which will be displayed as one of the 3,714 exhibits and can be taken home after the event.
“7.14 We Love Butterflies – BUTTERFLY x ART Installation Art Exhibition”
Hong Kong has recorded more than 260 butterfly species subordinated to 11 families, accounting for one-tenth of China’s total. With such a high density of species, Hong Kong is hailed as the “paradise of butterflies”. The “Shell Nature Watch – Butterfly Explorer” programme has marked July 14 in the calendar as “7.14 We Love Butterflies Day”, which is the first specific day scheduled for conservation and protection of an individual wildlife species in Hong Kong.
The ongoing “BUTTERFLY x ART Installation Art Exhibition” is themed on butterflies, art, environmental protection and creativity. To celebrate the third anniversary of the “7.14 We Love Butterflies” day, a campaign was held in collaboration with renowned local glass artist KC Wang to make 3,714 coloured glass butterflies. Each glass butterfly is handmade and unique, representing Hong Kong’s precious butterfly resources. Extraordinarily large-scaled, the exhibition is one of the events under the “Shell Nature Watch – Butterfly Explorer” programme. The exhibition will appear at multiple landmarks of Hong Kong including the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.
- Five colours = Five Hong Kong-specific butterfly species
The 3,000-plus glass butterflies are rendered in five colours – red, yellow, green, blue and purple – which respectively represent the five Hong Kong-specific butterfly species: Pachliopta aristolochiae, Troides aeacus, Graphium agamemnon, Euploea midamus and Jamides alecto. Of these, Pachliopta aristolochiae is one of the few butterfly species found locally with a red body; Troides aeacus is a protected species locally; Graphium agamemnon has the interesting habit of sucking up water; Euploea midamus is a main overwintering butterfly species found locally; and Jamides alecto is a rare local butterfly species.
In addition to the display of 3,714 glass butterflies, the exhibition provides the following zones and booths: -
Celebrity-painted glass butterflies
The exhibition displays large glass butterflies painted by 14 big names from all walks of life, including Christine Loh, JP, Deputy Director of the Environment Protection Department, Bernard Chan, JP, Executive Council Member, DJ Sammy Leung, singer Fiona Sit, singer Kandy, singer Yan Ting, model Evelyn Choi, band Dear Jane, singers Robynn & Kendy, director Fire Lee and local art group &dear as well as “Butterfly Ambassadors” Celine, the Super Girls and glass artist KC Wang, who attended the opening ceremony today.
The five colours respectively represent the five Hong Kong-specific butterfly species. Booths are arranged at the exhibition for stamps with cartoons of the five butterfly species. In addition, multiple exquisitely designed postcards are provided for visitors to collect the five stamps.
“Dress me up!” DIY Workshop
You can paint a glass butterfly in your own choice of colours, which will be displayed as one of the 3,714 exhibits and can be taken home after the exhibition.
“Bring Me Home”
As long as you donate $71.40, you can take a glass butterfly in any of the five colours home. Each glass butterfly is individually numbered, and you can select a number. From July 12 on, you can donate online to Green Power for butterfly conservation.
“BUTTERFLY x ART Installation Art Exhibition” times and venues:
- Jul 12-19, Hong Kong Observation Wheel (front)
- Aug 1-2, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)
- Aug 14-16, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
- Oct 4, Shing Mun Country Park
Facebook: Butterfly Care
Cammy So (Green Power) : 3961 0217 (office hours) or 9746 1726 (non-office hours)
Maggie Lam (Shell Hong Kong Limited) : 2506 7341 (office hours) or 9329 1495 (non-office hours)