Exhibition period: 7 Jan - 23 Aug, 2020
Location: Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre Exhibition Hall
Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday 10:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. Wednesday 10:30a.m. to 2:30p.m.
How to get here | Book an exhibition tour (Group or Individual)
The exhibition is co-curated by Maxime Decaudin, an environmental historian who teaches landscape architecture; and Chun-see Tsao, a former project officer at the centre
Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre proudly presents Ecology In The Making - A History of Amateur Naturalists in Hong Kong. This exhibition shares the stories of 12 passionate individuals spaning the period between 1816 and 1984, in discovering, collecting, identifying, conserving and popularizing nature.
The exhibition displays not only the stories of these individuals but the physical evidence of their contributions: a series of General Eyre’s botanic painting is on display for the first time, reproduced from the collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London; rare books from the past two centuries, like the Narrative of a journey in the interior of China (published 1818); the first comprehensive scientific catalogue of Hong Kong plants: Flora Hongkongensis (published 1861) from HKU Libraries; animal specimens from HKU School of Biological Science and Saint Louis School; fossils from HKU Stephen Hui Geological Museum and a reproduction of the rice paper painting A Bouquet of Flowers from The Hong Kong Museum of Art.
Amateur naturalists were curious about the natural world around them. Not scientists or professionals, they nevertheless made important scientific contributions to our understanding of fields as diverse as birds, butterflies, frogs and geology. Together, their encounters with the different species of Hong Kong and the works of knowledge they produced create space for us to explore how we too, can become amateur naturalists in our daily life.
Maxime Decaudin, guest co-curator of the exhibition, believed that it would be “relevant and inspiring” for the public to learn about these stories. “The fact that these individuals were not always scientists is a great incentive for all of us to think of our role in future challenges,” Decaudin comments. The exhibition aspires to serve as a reminder that exploring nature is not a privilege exclusive to scientists.
Exhibits on loan or reproduced from:
- Fountain of Love and Life, Canada
- HKU Libraries
- Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, UK
- Saint Louis School, Hong Kong
- School of Biological Science, HKU
- Stephen Hui Geological Museum, HKU
- Taiwan Herborist Culture and Art Studio
- The Hong Kong Museum of Art
General Eyre, a soldier in the 1840s, was an avid and talented painter of botany; his realistic drawings ultimately contributed to the first scientific, comprehensive catalogue of plants in Hong Kong: Flora Hongkongensis.
Father Anthony Bogadek was a priest in the 1980s who collected reptiles like snakes eventually becoming a leading expert in Hong Kong. He discovered the Bogadek’s Burrowing Lizard, as well as re-discovering the Romer’s Tree Frog, a species native to Hong Kong once believed to be extinct.
17/1/2020 South China Morning Post