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Chinese artist Zhang Yuebai turns insects into steampunk artworks in Shanghai

中国上海艺术家张月白把昆虫塑造成了蒸汽朋克艺术作品



Zhang Yuebai combines insect bodies with mechanics from watches and jewellery to make his unusual artworks. He can spend up to a month assembling the intricate and fiddly pieces

张月白将昆虫标本与取自手表珠宝的机械装置结合在一起制作他不同寻常的艺术品。他可以花上一个月时间来组装这些复杂精细的作品



The way bug collector and artist Zhang Yuebai goes about his work is something that comes straight out of horror fiction.

昆虫收藏家与艺术家张月白称他作品的创意直接从恐怖小说中得来。





Using tiny mechanical parts, gears from disassembled watches and occasionally, gemstones, the 23-year-old builds armour for insects, creating miniature pieces of sculpture.

这位23岁的艺术家利用从手表珠宝等物件拆卸来的微小机械零件在昆虫内外制作盔甲,创造出独特的微型雕塑。

Modifying one single bug can take weeks. If anything, its scale adds to the challenge.

改装一只昆虫可能需要几周时间。如果说出了什么问题的话,挑战难度还会升级。



“I need to have really steady hands as it requires great precision. If my hands are shaky, I’m unable to place the parts where they need to be,” says Zhang, also known as Lantusi. He recalls a time where he accidentally pushed the specimen off the table and broke all legs of a spider.

“我需要保持双手稳定,因为制作过程中需要非常精确。”如果我的手不稳就不能把零件安装在他们该在的地方,”张月白同时也叫兰图西说。他回忆说又一次他把标本从桌子上推倒不小心摔断了一只蜘蛛的腿。



Before drilling holes into the insect and outfitting it with machinery parts, Zhang processes the specimen he sources from online dealers himself, removing its insides and soaking the exoskeleton in chemicals to preserve it. As for the design of the piece, besides the animals’ appearance and colour, Zhang also takes into consideration their behaviour and structure.

在对昆虫进行钻孔并将其与机械部件进行匹配安装之前,张月白需要先处理他从网上经销商那里购买的标本,将昆虫内脏取出并将外壳浸泡在化学物质中保存。至于作品设计,除了考虑昆虫外形色彩外,张还需要考虑它们的行为模式和肢体结构。

“Mantis shrimps have powerful claws and when they strike rapidly, they can create a [cavitation] bubble that can kill their prey. With that in mind, I equipped its claws with springs and gears, envisioning a mechanical system that would have generated such a strong force,” says Zhang.

“螳螂虾有强有力的钳爪,当它们快速攻击时会产生一个瞬间可以杀死猎物的空泡。”考虑到这一点我用弹簧和齿轮来武装它的爪子,设想构造出一个能产生如此强大力量的机械系统,”张说。

The marine crustacean, along with a scorpion and some beetles, yielded the highest prices. “Despite it being just a shrimp,” he adds.

这种海洋甲壳类动物,连同一只蝎子和一些甲虫卖出了最高价格。“尽管它只是一只虾,”他补充道。



Zhang works from a corner of his home in Shanghai, where his impressive bug collection, bottles of chemicals and tiny machinery parts carefully sorted into small drawers line the wall, and escaped crickets – food for his pets – hop around.

他在位于上海角落的家里工作。在那里他将那些令人印象深刻的昆虫收藏品、瓶装化学物质和微小机械部件小心排列在墙上的小抽屉里,以避免蟋蟀啃咬——为他宠物准备的食物四处走动。



The ones he still owns he keeps as pets and no, he does not plan to use them as future models. But does he have a favourite work so far?
“Yes, [always] the next one”, says Zhang.

他饲养的那些仍然是宠物。不,他不打算把它们当作未来模型的原料。但到目前为止,他觉得哪个工作做得最喜欢?
“永远是下一个。”张说。