Live animals, paper, video 2016-ongoing

Release is a series of work inspired by the Buddhist practice of 'life release', which sees captive animals bought and released into the wild.

Aside from the action of releasing the animal, the project developed unique ways to record the animals' movements in the moments leading up their release.

For example, in the case of the birds' release, carbon paper was installed at the bottom of the cages to record the marks made by the animals' claws.

Fish were rubbed with nontoxic ink before being allowed to move freely over paper. The resulting ‘prints’ are unique records of movement, life and compassion.

To ensure the project's practices are as ecological and ethically sound as possible, and to avoid the phenomenon of 'death release' (放死), the project developed the following guidelines:

  • Only release native animals to avoid disrupting the local ecology

  • Only release animals captured from the wild, not farmed animals, to ensure the animals have the necessary survival skills

  • Only release to suitable natural environments where the animals will be able to survive

  • Only use a very small amount of non-toxic ink

  • Only use a particular market or seller once, to avoid continued monetary support of their trade


Release: Weatherfish No.1

Release: Weatherfish No.1

Release: Carassius auratus No.1

Release: Carassius auratus No.1

Original Artwork

Original framed artwork from this project is available for sale.

Each piece measures 10x10cm (framed dimensions 22x22cm) and is float mounted in a wooden and glass frame.