All images by the ICZ




An exhibition to celebrate 150 years of birdwatching

14 July – 3 September 2011

Private view 13 July 2011, 6 – 8pm

Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY



"The work to follow is an exploration of these complexities and reminds us that birds occupy a large and central part of that universe that human beings constantly carve out of nature." Ding Li

“In contemporary society birds are, perhaps, both the most watched and most eaten animal on our planet. They have become a focal point of debates about a 'proper' relationship between humankind and nature, and about definitions of humanity itself.” Naoko Noguchi

Against the very real environmental drama unfolding across the globe, multidisciplinary artist Renhui Zhao presents the exhibition A Bird in the Hand. The exhibition invites viewers to step into the The Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ), a multilayered conceit that operates across an array of levels.

"How do we celebrate 150 years of birdwatching?" Kimiya Yui

The exhibition will also reveal artefacts from the Institute’s Tokyo museum including indigenous Philippine bird traps and documents of “miraculous” eggshells containing baby fish, alongside revelatory items from the Institute’s archive of wildlife smuggling methods in the form of specially designed smuggling undergarments retrieved by customs.





A limited edition catalogue will also be available during the opening of the exhibition.
Essays by Naoko Noguchi, Director of Social Programs, Ding Li, Expert in Bird Ecology and Kimiya Yui.
The catalogue includes a special reprinted poster of Norishige Kanai's celebrated 'Looking at birds' (1957).
To order a copy please contact with the subject header "A Bird In The Hand Catologue"


The Institute of Critical Zoologists

Volume No. 7


Zhao Renhui is an artist who works closely with The Institute of Critical Zoologists.


Ding Li is an ornithologist and an expert in bird ecology.


Yurisa Nanjio is a world-renowned oologist and ornithologist.


Naoko Noguchi is the director of social and special programmes at The Institute of Critical Zoologists.


Kimiya Yui is a curator and professor in the aesthetics of conservation and ecology. He is the author of many books includingThe Last Tree in Shibum, Sunrise/Sunset Going Full Circle and most recently, Nature Lust.


Norishige Kanai is an artist based in Japan. An important correlate to his artistic practice is his work as a teacher.



Editor: Chia Hui Ting
Editorial Board: Ding Li, Zhao Renhui

Published by The Institute of Critical Zoologists
(The Institute of Critical Zoologists publications are initiated by the Director of The Institute of Critical Zoologists)

Art Director: Tan Boon Hau
Book Design & Creative
Direction: TBH

Published 2011
First Edition (500 copies)

C 2011 The Institute of Critical Zoologists and the Authors. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the context of reviews.

Supported by
The National Arts Council Singapore


Special thanks to
Zhao Renhui
Ding Li
Magdalen Ng
Boon Chan

Toyohiro Akiyama


Copyright 2011, Institute of Critical Zoologists