Girl Gets Backlash for Killing 500 Butterflies to Create Artwork Symbolising ‘Rebirth’

Would you consider this case cruel or a form of art?

In the exhibition hall of a graduating class of Quanzhou Normal University in Fujian province, China, a few pieces of artwork made out of butterfly wings caught the attention of people. While some felt that they were rather cruel, the artist behind the artwork pieces thinks that the use of butterflies symbolises “rebirth”.

Meet Li Zheng, a fourth-year student behind the talked-about artwork. For their graduating piece, her lecturer had instructed the students to create an integrated and comprehensive art piece by using various materials to re-create famous paintings. Li decided to do a remake of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, the notable Dutch painter.

In the beginning, she was unsure what type of materials to use for her project. Her inspiration to use butterflies was ignited after coming across a person using the nectar-feeding insect as material for their painting, China Press reported. She then realised that butterflies actually have a much implied meaning and significance, hence her decision to use butterfly wings as her medium. 

According to Li, a total of 500 pairs of butterfly wings were used for two pieces of her artwork. A small portion of the wings used were from butterflies that were alive to complete the piece. Her artwork is quite impressive tbh!

Here are some close-up shots of her artwork:

“I am not afraid of my artwork. While putting together my art piece, I had the thought of whether or not to continue using butterflies as my resources. In the end, I insisted on using butterflies as I feel that it gives out the meaning of “rebirth” despite people criticising me for killing animals,” she said.

However, not everyone saw her point of view. Some Chinese netizens said that it was quite ironic of her to kill hundreds of butterflies’ lives for a painting that implies “rebirth”.

“To put it bluntly, it’s just a painting made with corpses,” a netizen wrote. Harsh! 



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