Preview: A Bird in the Hand

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The Independent Culture

Mankind and the natural world collide in a breath-taking exhibition opening this week.

Bringing into focus the quandary of the earth through the eyes of the humble bird, Renhui Zhao invites viewers to lose themselves in a world in which the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred.

Centering on a fictional Institute of Critical Zoologists, Zhao unveils the latest 'global research', from birds which have evolved to permanently close their eyes to protect themselves from the dust of drying landscapes, to “invisible” Birdwatching garments(pictured).

A Bird in the Hand, on display at the University of the Arts London Art Gallery, High Holborn, is a vivid exploration of man's relationship with nature, highlighting the fragility and vulnerability of the environment. The exhibition features a display of genuine artefacts, alongside samples of the ICZ's 'collection', which have been sculpted, photographed or filmed by Zhao.

A young artist born in Singapore in 1983, Zhao studied at Temasek Design School before going on to Camberwell College of the Arts, London.

Known for his love affair with the surreal, Zhao is a fast up-and-coming artist who has had his work exhibited across the world.

A Bird in the Hand is on display at the University of the Arts London Art Gallery, 272 High Holborn, from 14 July until 3 September. To find out more, visit www.arts.ac.uk

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