Living Sculptures: Bees Manipulated to Create Artistic Forms

One transparent cube after another displays a strange undulating form of honeycomb, each one unique and notably different from any you would find in nature when bees are left to their own devices. Beijing-based artist and beekeeper Ren Ri displays these three-dimensional organic forms at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong SOHO, exploring what happens when humans intervene in the forces of nature.

To achieve these almost alien-like effects, Ren placed a queen bee in the middle of each box, allowing the bees to build beehives around her for seven days before changing the position of the box. Doing so caused the bees to shift the way they in which they assembled the honeycomb.

“The duality of interactions between the human body and the bees is not simply in the physical sense; more importantly it hints at an interrelated force and its counterforce,” Ren says of the works.

A companion series manipulates the bee behavior even further, directing them to create the wax in the shape of maps within traditional hive framework. 

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