Map by Frank Tang Kai Yiu

APO x HKNME x Lumenvisum

Hi! Flora, Fauna | 栩栩如生

Primitive sounds of wildlife linger in an urban oasis.

Exhibition FEB - JUN 2021

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardensmap

Presenter : Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Organiser : Art Promotion Office
Curatorial Partner (Image Art) : Lumenvisum
Music Collaborator : Hong Kong New Music Ensemble

Opening Hours
Fountain Terrace Garden : 5 am - 10 pm
Green House/ Education and Exhibition Centre : 9 am - 4:30 pm
Other Areas : 6 am - 7 pm
Free admission


New commissioned work by Charles Kwong


To present nature in music, and to present music in nature — Lifelike is a series of site-specific musical compositions that build on the concept of “learning from nature” and weave music into the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. Nonetheless, the theme is not nature in general but one with a unique existence within “gardens”. This kind of nature displayed in gardens, parks and zoos is man-made and manipulated. Both active and static lives in these settings are plucked from their habitats to live and be managed in confined areas. This form of existence is a distorted state of nature, humans taming nature, as well as their attempts to understand and preserve nature.

© Cheung Chi Wai @ Moon 9 Image 

Through the performance, Lifelike contextualises the situation of an artificialised and institutionalised nature , in order to explore what John Berger was referring to by “zoo as a metaphor”. When a performance takes place in a zoo, who is the spectator and who is the spectacle? When visitors, as bystanders, marvel at exotic beings in a zoo, do they also become a part of the system and order created for the site? Are the cages, where animals are kept in and displayed as rare treasures, also auditoriums for the animals to watch the show at the other end?  As visitors anticipate another intriguing move from across the cage, do the crated animals have any anticipations for the other side? Are the lives on the two sides of a cage equal?

© Cheung Chi Wai @ Moon 9 Image 

“Learning from nature”, Lifelike is not to be an acoustic verisimilitude, but to present the existence and state of the beings in the gardens, in the form of  music performance.

When a zoo becomes a lifelike metaphor, what does this metaphor refer to?





© 2021 HKNME