Live like an orchid: Firstly, observe and learn


An epiphyte is a non-parasitic plant that takes its roots on the body of another plant. By visualizing and representing epiphytes’ symbiotic relationships with immersive eco-cinema, Live Like an Orchid fertilizes human engagement in the ecological culture of multispecies cohabitation, aiming to contribute to shaping ‘Renewable futures’ or ‘sustainable ecosystems’ that are promising for all species. Epiphytes pursue symbiotic relationships with both their host and their surroundings. The lifestyle of epiphytes organises profound interaction networks and shapes a unique bio-social community with neighbouring species. This research project proposes that human species engage in the community and learn how to symbiotically ‘live together’.

Based on the methodology of multispecies ethnography, practice-based research and artistic experiments, the project investigates a way to represent and visualize epiphytic orchids’ biocultural activities from a plant-centred viewpoint.

I have been working closely with Hong Kong local epiphytic orchid species with eco-cinematic practices in this research. with multispecies ethnography and how they can be developed into further research within the framework of practice-based research.

All living organisms on this planet are currently encountering a rapid escalation of ecological crisis. One can argue that human-centric beliefs have led to a culture that encourages the elimination of other species and artificial governance over nature. If nature is the host plant, then humans have acted like parasitic plants that conquer and destroy the host. Mancuso emphasises that ‘symbiotic relationships are fundamental for all forms of life on the planet’ (Mancuso 2015, 141)

About the artist

Park Ji Yun is an artist and researcher. She received her BA from Korea National University of Arts and MFA from the City University of Hong Kong and is currently finishing her second year of Ph.D. research at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include plant sociality, more-than-humans and urban ecology. She works with epiphytic orchids to combine eco-cinematic experiments and multispecies relationships. As a multimedia artist, she works with film, video, installation, photography and performance. Her works have been exhibited in Seoul, Hong Kong and Zurich. Ji Yun is a member of the Wanwu Practice Group. She also organizes the monthly online forum on Practice-based research with ArtEngine, where she is involved as a fellow.