1,600 Papier-Mâché Pandas Are Set To Invade Hong Kong

Illustration for article titled 1,600 Papier-Mâché Pandas Are Set To Invade Hong Kong

In 2008, Serge Orru, the head of the French section of the World Wildlife Fund, came up with the idea of displaying 1,600 pandas—the number still alive in the wild—at landmarks across the country. Six years, twenty countries and more than one hundred cities later, the pandas are preparing to visit Hong Kong in June.

The pandas are the creation of French artist Paulo Grangeon. Initially a wood sculptor, he became fascinated with the papier-mâché techniques used in Thailand. For the Hong Kong event, Grangeon will create four special-edition pandas that will remain on display after the papier-mâché flashmob relocates to a new city.

The sight of the charismatic animals crowded into urban areas is both enchanting and unsettling—a reminder of how much damage we've done to the environment, and what we still stand to lose.

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Stephan Zielinski

"Dang! That's a lot of pandas! Why are we busting our humps to try to `conserve' the idiot things, again?"

Remember what Iris the Impressionist Impala says, kids: "Art's inherent ambiguity can make it a poor choice with which to advocate for policy change!"