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Zoo as Metaphor 2

Ceramics. Oil pastel, Bee wax, Glass bottle

Dimension variable



Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

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Exhibition view  -   Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

Zoo as metaphor 2  | catalogue p.21


Creator’s Note 

Man Mei-to


I’ve always had a habit of collecting objects and containers, and the fallen, cut-off, and recycled residues of bodies. But I merely collected them, and never embalmed what I collected and turned them into specimens, nor put them on display. The first specimen I created was for a prop for independent film Season of the End, and although it was just prop making, I didn’t stint on it at all. We turned everyday Hong Kong objects that are about to be lost or abandoned into specimens: hand-carved wooden signages from old shops, cotton trees and flowers cut down or transplanted after being deemed hazardous by district legislators, cast-off locks… etc. It was the sense of disappearing objects that we captured. 


When I took up the position of specimen-collector once again, I had to come to terms with how best to handle animal corpses. A while ago, my cat’s bodily functions were beginning to decline because of old age, and near death, the strong, corpse-like stench that came from its mouth grew putrid. Whenever we feel melancholy and exhausted, every second of the day, our bodies begin to transform, dissolve, even start to fester. The stench of putrification still lingers in my memory. As last, his body was buried, so that he could be transformed to nurture the soil, and let plants grow well. The cycle of eating, excreting and turning feces into nutrients is a normal and perfect sustainable system. But what about now? Do we tend to ritualize everything in order to cover up any worry or fear? 


Collecting dregs of water found out-of-doors in the city, letting bacteria manifest in the bottle and knot themselves together. Organisms and animals are stored in ice-cold glass bottles, in the sharp sting of antiseptic, bodies entwined. Their bodies grow bizarre, turning pale and colourless, scarred, swollen, pustule-filled. Is this normal> Have you ever paid attention to it? In that space, can you still smell the odour of their bodies? Can you still remember their final throes? 




一直有收藏身體脫落、剪去、更新的殘餘物 和 物件、器皿的習慣。但只是收藏,並沒有將牠們像標本似的裱起,或一一展示出來。記得第一次做標本是為獨立電影《冬蟬》做道具,雖說是道具,但一點也不馬虎。標本化香港將會消失、遺失的日常生活物件:老店舖的木製𠝹字招牌不、被區議員提出為「害樹之一」而需移植或砍掉的木棉樹及花、漸漸被淘汰的鎖鑰⋯⋯等。是一種消逝的事物感多一些。





收集城市户外的水,讓瓶內細菌滋長,結成一團。生物與動物被儲存到冰冷的玻璃瓶,刺激的消毒藥水,身軀擁擠一團。身體發生異樣,蒼白無色、瘡疤滿佈、發腫,以至腫瘤擴散。這是日常事?你平日有留意嗎?在那空間,還聞到身軀的氣味?還記起牠們最後的動作嗎? "

Exhibition view  -   Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences

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