THE MELTING SEABIRDS

This artwork was inspired by a series of stunning images taken by Chris Jordan, an American photographer, who photographed multiple rating carcasses of Laysan albatrosses. The remaining feathers and beaks are still visible, but the most impressive parts are the colourful plastic fragments inside the birds'stomaches. The intense contrast with the grey colour, artificial, natural, immortal and decay are what inspired me to create the basic blueprint of the Burning Seabird project. 

The Melting Seabrids, time: 2:57

At the beginning of the project, the artist had collected a large number of images, data and documents that are related to albatrosses and marine pollution. He also visited experts in filmmaking to learn more about the status of marine pollution in the world, especially in China. At the same time, He was actively contacting the American Ocean Conservancy to collect more professional and accurate information. He found that approximately 800 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into the ocean every year, and about five trillion pieces of plastics are scattered across the oceans; therefore, about 90 percent of the world's sea birds have the problem of consuming plastics. The baby albatrosses at Midway have died from starvation, stomach tearing and even suffocation because they do not have any regurgitation capabilities. Based on this background, He used the baby albatrosses as the inspiration for the project.

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A Dying Baby Laysan Albatross, Charcoal Drawing On Paper

"As baby Laysan albatrosses are difficult to find in China, I had to communicate with experts at Midway Atoll to collect a large number of images, videos and adult specimen studies. The complete outline of the baby albatross was gradually constructed in every detail to represent its near-death status." 

"In my opinion, the melting of the wax itself not only shows the pitiful life rotting and disappearing in the Midway Islands but also represents the rise of human civilization, which is based on the consumption and destruction of natural resources. Sadly, after people's consuming, there is nothing left except for a bunch of discarded plastics garbage."

                                                                                                                                     Long Yuan  

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The Melting Seabrids, Screen Shot

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The Burning Seabrids, Screen Shot

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The Baby Albatross, Sculpture

Drawing

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The Baby Albatross, Sculpture, Bee Wax

Exhibition history

Unmute, Copland Gallery, London, 2021

Plastic Era, Shanghai Science and  Technology Museum, Shanghai, China, 2019