Christie Lau’s newest series Endlings will be on exhibit at Navillus Gallery from 17 April - 22 May. Her work in this series explores the notion of de-extinction, the act of reviving extinct species, as well as the role that humans have played in their rise and fall.
In March 2013, Revive and Restore, an organization dedicated to coordinating genomic technology for conservation, hosted a conference with National Geographic and TedX. Biologists, ethicists and conservationists discussed the moral and logistical reasons for bringing back extinct species by using DNA information from museum specimens. Animal resurrection is a unique and contemporary question we are facing; humans, the most intelligent species on earth, have the hard-earned power to make right what we have done wrong. Human activity has caused much animal extinction, and what we have left of these lost species are skeletons and broken up DNA.
In this series, Lau stays true to her detailed and whimsical style by adhering fluorite crystals on mirrors and painting onto them portraits of endlings, the last living being of an extinct species. When a fluorite crystal is exposed to light, it gradually loses its colour and turns clear. The colourless crystal structure is a metaphor for emptied skeletal remains, both a basic blueprints for form. By painting the endlings in greyscale, Lau portrays the gradual loss of the animal’s ephemeral essence and way of life when exposed to humans. The viewer infuses the mirror and endling with his or her own colour, referencing a second and artificial breath of life.