⟨ Art ⟩

Stone, Branch and Leaf

Mini Book Set by UUendy Lau

Words / Elva Pang
Photography / Elva Pang, UUendy Lau
Translation / Iris Heung

「石頭的個性很像我,我感到與石頭有一份很深的連繫。」UUendy拿起塗了小塊金色顏料的石頭說。是如石頭般堅強或頑固嗎?書上卻寫著「The Unconfident Stone」,大概很少人會形容石頭是沒有自信吧。「這本小書是早前在大館舉辦的Art Book Fair中推出的,由於反應不錯,所以想做一個完整的系列。」UUendy續說:「我經常不自覺地把自己的個性投射到大自然裡,這次創作了三個主題的藝術繪本:沒有自信的石頭、猶豫不決的樹枝和沒有耐性的樹葉,我想像它們的遭遇和感受,描畫出來並配上簡單的字句。」透過UUendy奇怪的想法和天馬行空的幻想,讓讀者對大自然有一個屬於自己的看法和感受,並思考人與自然的關係。

在這次創作中,UUendy為石頭、樹枝和樹葉加上看似負面的形容詞和想法,但仍不減它們的可愛個性。「《The Unconfident Stone》的主題是關於自信心,裡面有一個關於拾石頭的故事讓我感受很深。當我在花園裡拾石頭時,我在眾多的石頭中選中了其中的一顆,心裡想如果我是這顆石頭的話,我會覺得自己和其他的石頭都是一樣,為甚麼會選中我呢?然而,我選擇這顆石頭不是因為它很美或外表很光滑,而是因為它的獨特性。這顆石頭本來是放在路面或泥土裡,人們不會注意到它們的存在;當把它放在家中的一角,我們對它產生了情感,便能夠重新發現它的美。」

“The character of stone bears a strong resemblance to mine. I simply feel deeply connected to stone,” UUendy says as she picks up a piece of rock painted in gold color. At first, I thought it was the toughness and stubbornness that she saw herself in the quality of stones, but reading the title of her zine The Unconfident Stone, I was left feeling puzzled. Why would someone describe a stone as unconfident? “This zine was launched during the Hong Kong Art Book Fair that was held in Tai Kwun not long ago. The feedback was quite positive, therefore I’ve decided to turn it into a complete series,” UUendy says, “I often unconsciously use things in nature to depict my personality. This series consists of illustration zines based on three themes, The Unconfident Stone, The Indecisive Branch, and The Impatient Leaf. I wanted to turn their experience and feelings into illustrations and words.” UUendy’s peculiar and comical imagination has brought to her readers a completely new perspective to explore the relationship between human and nature. 

In her new series, UUendy attached some seemingly negative adjectives and mindsets to stone, tree branch and leaf, while not forgetting to give them an adorable personality. “The story of The Unconfident Stone is about confidence. There is a chapter about picking up a stone that is particularly important to me. I picked up one piece of stone among many other pieces in my garden. When doing so, I began to wonder, if I were this piece of stone, would I consider myself identical to the stones around me and question what made me the chosen one? I chose this piece of stone not because it was pretty or because of its smooth surface; I chose it because of its uniqueness. This stone can easily go unnoticed if it was sitting on the pavement or in the soil, but when I placed it at the corner of my home, I can develop some emotional attachment to it and recognize its beauty.”

UUendy笑言即使在英國進修回來,有時候仍感到沒有自信,但在拾石頭的過程中,讓她明白到無論石頭的外貌和個性是怎樣,也一定會有人懂得欣賞它。「大自然讓我明白到世上沒有東西是完美的,要相信自己的獨特性,給自己多點自信心。」從大自然中得到療癒,UUendy同時也向大自然虛心學習。「我也有許多猶豫不決的時候,好像樹枝般有許多的枝節,總是三心兩意。後來想到即使樹枝有不同的枝節,但大多數都是向同一方向生長,這讓我聯想到儘管眼前有許多選擇,也該依自己的直覺而行,不要顧慮太多,因為最終都是向著同一個方向進發。」UUendy笑說:「創作的過程中讓我明白到許多事情都可以向大自然學習,怎樣令自己和大自然變得更好,以及找到與大自然共存的方式。」

UUendy jokingly says that she did not gain much confidence from studying in the UK, but. It is the process of picking up stones that taught her the fact that disregarding the appearance and characteristics of the stone, there is always someone out there who can appreciate these qualities. “Nature shows me nothing on earth is perfect. We need to learn to believe in our uniqueness and have more confidence in ourselves.” UUendy is healed by nature, she is, as well, constantly learning from nature. “I have my indecisive moments, like a tree branch, my thoughts are always extended into multiple subbranches. When I saw no matter how many offshoots a branch has, they would all point at the same direction, I finally got to know that I can totally trust my instinct, because all my thoughts would lead me to the same goal,” UUendy says cheerfully, “My creative processes show me how much I can learn from nature, I have learned to become a better person and create a better environment. I have also learned the way to coexist with nature.”

兩年前從英國回來,UUendy想找一個地方作為工作室,因為行山的關係來了坪洲數次,便生起居住下來的念頭。「大自然能讓人放開點、真誠點,可以做回自己。大自然擁有一種真實性的存在。」UUendy續說:「雖然坪洲不像其他小島般商店林立,但我喜歡這裡的寧靜和休閒,還可以探索不同的大自然景觀。住在村屋裡,我會經常開著門,與鄰居建立了緊密的連繫,他們不時送自己種的菜、 剛釣到的魚給我,花園裡的植物都是他們給我種子或幼苗來培植的,鄰居的熱情和慷慨也影響著我的創作。」UUendy的花園裡放著三幅畫,是兩隻在附近生活的流浪貓和偶然會飛來歇息的鳥兒。「每天完成了工作後,我會到花園打理植物、走到山坡下的海灘或是去行山,無論在空間、時間和情感上都多了跟大自然融合,大自然成為了創作的靈感來源。」

拿起比掌心還小的石頭,好奇著上面塗上了一小塊金色顏料,為粗糙平凡的石頭帶來一點耀眼的光芒。UUendy說:「我們在走路時,往往忽略了腳旁的石頭、掉下來的樹枝和樹葉,倘若細心留意便能發現它們都是由大自然塑造出來,各有它獨特之處,是大自然賜予我們的禮物。雖然我製作的是一本藝術繪本,但它不只停留於插畫,而是有一件經過挑選和潤色的石頭、樹枝和樹葉,我以我的角度、對物件的感覺,在不同位置塗上金色顏料,使每一件都更個人化,並有著不同的形態和質感。買了它回家的人能透過感受物件的形狀和質感,與創作的人展開對話。透過物件與人溝通,是我大部分的創作想去探討的事情。」在大自然裡,我們彷彿能夠更坦誠地面對自己,並找到與內在和世界更深刻的連繫。

UUendy returned to Hong Kong from the UK two years ago. After visiting Peng Chau a few times for trekking, she decided to rent a space there and use it as her studio. “Nature has the power to make people stay open and honest, it is where we can all be our true selves. The existence of nature is so authentic,” explains UUendy, “Unlike other islands, Peng Chau may not offer as many shops. But I really enjoy how quiet and relaxing it is; I can also explore the natural habitat here. Living in a village house, I usually leave my door open. This allows me to establish a close relationship with my neighbors. They sometimes bring to me the vegetables they grow or fishes they catch, the plants in my garden are also grown from the seeds and sprouts they shared with me. Their friendliness and generosity have an influence on my creativity.” UUendy has put three paintings in her garden, in the paintings are the two stray cats living nearby and birds that sometimes rest in her garden. “Every day after I’ve finished working, I would go to my garden to tend my plants, sometimes I would walk downhill to the beach or go uphill for a hike. Not only do I live in a natural environment, but I also spend a lot of time and effort to blend with nature, which in turn has become an inspiration to my art.”

This piece of stone that is smaller than my palm is painted with golden color, which surely made this rough and ordinary stone shine. UUendy says, “When taking a stroll, we tend to overlook the stones lying on the ground, and the branches and leaves that fell from the tree. If we could take a moment to observe them, we can see how unique these creations of nature are. They are all gifts from nature. I want my publications to go beyond illustration zines. They consist of stones, branches, and leaves that I carefully selected and polished. Depending on the perception and feeling I have for these objects, I would paint a dash of golden color on a different spot. I am trying to give them personality, appearance, and texture. My readers who bring my zines home can communicate with me, the artist, through the shape and texture of these objects. Most of my artworks are about communicating with my audience through physical objects.” Surrounded by nature, we seem to know better how to be honest to ourselves, we can then be more vividly connected to our inner mind and the outside world.

Stone, Branch & Leaf — Mini Book Set & Home Ornament 

pre-order at Kickstarter