Creative Writing | Artists Interview
The coexistence of people, birds and fishes──Studio Biped
Written by CHAN Hiu Tung Ada
Because of an animation production, Angela, a student major in Animation, teamed up with Anita, an experienced white-collar working at a commercial company, and established Studio Biped. With their different expertise and tacit understanding, Angela and Anita complement each other. The animator has a clear picture of animations positioning: Some are made for a living, while others are personal pieces that simply express her thoughts. With her experience in farming, Angela's work also contains agricultural elements. Taking the fishponds in Tai Sang Wai as the cornerstone of their works for the currently "Fishpond Canteen Sustainable Art Festival", the relationship between humans and nature became a common theme of the two's art pieces.
With only superficial understanding about Tai Sang Wai, the duo who are highly concerned about logical reasoning managed to develop their works with census data from Hong Kong Bird Watching Society and bird conservation methodologies much faster than those restrained by their feelings about the region. "Most conservation discourses that advocate birds and environment protection emphasize the plight of birds. But on second thought, it shouldn't only be the birds snatching the fish raised by fish farmers, nor the fish farmer giving to the birds when they coexist in nature. Isn't a reciprocal relationship possible? " Said Anita. Angela then added, "The intention of conservation groups must be increasing the survival rate of different species. But when they work with an entire fishing village, how can the two parties gain a mutual understanding in terms of economic and conservation value? In a way, the villagers' livelihood may also be affected. I am most curious about how both parties strike a balance in the conservation of birds. "
The prototype of their online game simulating the ecology of the fishponds therefore emerged. Although the duo was unfamiliar with the environment in Tai Sang Wai, preceding artists have already established a good relationship with the villagers. Consequently, they could touch on the in-depth issue of Tai Sang Wai's environment in their creation and learn the relationship between humans, birds, and fishes through the villagers' oral history and experience. "This work is like an active creative assignment for us," Angela concluded. The game was initially intended to introduce birds and fishes. Eventually, it also featured fish farmers' economic considerations. Anita hopes that players can think about the hidden social problems behind fishponds and bird conservation. "If they ask what is wrong with the current economy and policies or how can the human social system be changed to enable us to live in harmony with nature, then it means this game has brought an impact."