"Untitled" (2019), by Pablo Albarenga
About "Breathe Deep"
Launched on Earth Day in 2021, Breathe Deep was a community campaign highlighting the value and spirit of the trees of Hong Kong. Members of the public were invited to submit portraits of trees in the form of photographs, drawings, and other works to be featured throughout the public areas of Eaton HK.
Breathe Deep reinforced Eaton HK’s commitment to environmental justice. In September 2020, Eaton HK displayed a photograph of a lone tree in a landscape of deforestation in the Amazon on our Nathan Road-facing billboard. The photo, taken by National Geographic Explorer Pulitzer Grantee and Sony Photographer of the Year Pablo Albarenga, highlights the plight of indigenous people of the amazon Amazon their home is levelled around them. On the other side of the building is an image of the roots of a Hong Kong banyan tree by photographer Mark Pearson.
"Untitled" (2019) and "Untitled" (2018) by Pablo Albarenga
"We Are Earth" (2021) by Sharu Binnong Sikdar - a mixed media installation with trees branches, soil, and rice paper
"Five Days Walking" by Wallis Chan 陳婉瑩, Winnie Hui 許穎, Xepa Lit 列宛旻, Aki Rabina Rai, and Emily Tse 謝婉婷 - handmade book, text and sketches 手工書、文字及草圖
Twenty works submitted from the public were displayed in the Eaton HK Foodhall during the program period
More information about "Breathe Deep"
With every inhale and exhale we are in an expanding and contracting relationship with our planet. This exhibition is about humans, trees, and the breath that connects us.
With restrictions from the pandemic over the last year and a half, a vital consolation was our ability to venture into Hong Kong’s country parks and nature reserves. Trees, earth, blue sky and space serve as short escapes from the stress of the city.
While concern around air quality isn’t new, our relationship to air dramatically changed. Air was something we could no longer share. Space was something we could not, without careful consideration, cohabit. If we lived with loved ones, simply returning home meant potential transmission. To have proximity we needed a physical barrier, having intimacy was a risky proposition.
Oxygen tanks and protective masks were being shipped around the world to the highest bidder while some cities and countries desperately in need were running out. We were suddenly forced to confront the value attached to this given resource, oxygen, that we had taken for granted.
The exhibition starts with a photo by Pablo Albarenga that we launched in September 2020. The image that suspends above our daily comings and goings on Nathan Road shows a single tree that stands tall above a partly deforested area of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. In Tomorrow Maybe, we include two more photos by Pablo, going from the soaring bird’s eye view down to human level. One showing an indigenous boy looking out at the rainforest in which he lives during an early walk to check traps to catch food. These images draw attention to the layered and intertwined relationship between human and our environment.
There is a general misconception that nature is pristine when untouched by humans. That humans and nature should remain separate. The truth is that communities and nature have been intertwined and inseparable for over a thousand years. Not just in Brazil, but all over the world, local people have for generations served as stewards of and intensively managed the forests and that’s precisely why they are still forests. This relationship has been disrupted by the perception to see forests and land as resources instead of the sacred life-support system that has been keeping communities and humans alive for thousands of years. It is this inextricable and invisible connection that Pablo’s images and the exhibition explores.
With every breath we must realize that we are part of our habitat and without coordinated effort, we are all at a loss. So with every breath remember that the simple act of taking breath cannot be taken for granted.
This exhibition features the work of 11 artists and artist collectives contemplating the human relationship to what we consider “our natural environment”. Artists featured include Pablo Albarenga, Amanda Yik, Zheng Bo, Sun Chung.
Special thanks to Maria Chan, Director Content Partnerships at National Geographic.