Robert Zhao Renhui
Proxy II (Beetles)
The photograph Proxy II (Beetles) belongs to a series focusing on the ecology of Christmas Island—a small volcanic outcrop in the Indian Ocean which was transferred from Singapore to Australia in 1958. Since the establishment of the first human settlements in the late 19th century, the ecosystem of Christmas Island has undergone dramatic changes. The nearly 150 years of human settlement have introduced a number of invasive species onto the island who have severely impacted a fragile ecosystem, imperiling the island’s wildlife and causing the extinction of a number of native species. As a result, extreme biocontrol strategies are currently being undertaken in an attempt to restore the island’s biodiversity. The photograph is of a beautiful bird on Christmas island, without indicating if it’s endangered or invasive. The strong white light and white background suggest a fabricated setting, away from the natural habitat of the bird, reinforcing the abnormality of the situation.