Becoming the birdman - Hongkong 1996

During my three and a half year stay in Hongkong I experimented with performance art. The less time I have the more creative I am. Within a three day period for a set; sound, light and costume have to be ready. On the third day at 6pm as the guests are expected at 8pm, everything is ready except the costume. Slowly I am running out of time. Suddenly i have an idea; feathers! I rip open a cushion in the bedroom. Lots of feathers.... How are they going to become a costume? In the fridge I find a jar of honey, and cover my body totally with it. Afterwards I find myself standing in the cushion and sticking the feathers on the gluey body. Within minutes the transformation is completed and I am being a bird for the first time. From now on I continue to experiment with the bird theme .


After the third bird performance a journalist writes: „The birdman of Hongkong“. A new name has been given to me which I accept. Being "The birdman" I continuously create one bird performance after another. Transforming from bird to human or from human to bird. Putting myself in cages to be liberated during the performances. After dedicating my work to performance for roughly one year a Chinese man comes up to me after a performance in Hongkong, with the words: „You are the birdman and you don’t paint birds?“. What a brilliant idea i think. After coming home that evening I started to paint birds and have continued to do so since that day. This was the year 1997 when the „Handover“ took place in Hongkong, I had my personal handover - "birds" as a theme were handed over to me.......

Benedikt Fuhrmann