top of page
Giant Ptarmigan Spying on Hyena the Southern Explorer (Glacier)

Giant Ptarmigan Spying on Hyena the Southern Explorer (Glacier)


Hand pulled original Woodcut Print (oil-based ink on handmade cloud dragon rice paper)

Paper size: 8x10” / 20x25cm

Image size: 6x8.75” / 15x22cm


Editions of 100 + 5AP



The hyena is an “arctic explorer” from the south. Carrying a shotgun, he sneaks into Northlandia to seek the northern secret passage that would help his southern country. Unknowingly, he is followed by the giant ptarmigan, the arctic guard.


I made the ptarmigan a giant flying one, more like an eagle or an albatross (but GIANT.) The ptarmigans are small plump white birds that can’t really fly and the only birds strong enough to winter in Svalbard. I saw quite a few of them on my trip!


The background is Glacier Valentunryggen, my favourite and possibly the most beautiful glacier on my arctic residency trip. The glacier looked like a giant azure layered cake.

We reached the ridge.

I was the first one to arrive. My exaltation “OH MY GOD!” enticed the others to sprint.

By now, I had seen a lot of glaciers, but never glaciers from that angle and of that texture.

I already miss it and am so thankful to myself for capturing the wonder in this woodcut while I was still bathing in the afterglow the next morning.



*One day on the boat, I asked the guides casually, where do you put your guns when you’re back on the boat?


They both sat up immediately.


Why do you ask?


Oh I want to put a gun in my piece but I know nothing about guns, so I want to photograph one.


The next afternoon, one of them came to me, you can photograph a gun now. That became the hyena’s shotgun.


If you like this piece, check out Giant Ptarmigan Spying on Hyena the Southern Explorer (Glacier.)


**Each print is original, hand-pulled and may look slightly different from the image sample.



About Northlandia Arctic Woodcuts


In Oct-Nov 2022, I went on a month-long research residency programme “The Arctic Circle” in the arctic Svalbard for Northlandia, one of the five imaginary countries in my lifelong World of 2084 project. During the trip, I sketched landscape on site on small woodblocks and weaved Northlandia narrative into the composition and carve the woodblocks on the boat and in my room in Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost town.


The collection of 24 Northlandia Arctic Woodcuts was then be hand-printed in Hong Kong and launched in December 2022. These small woodcut prints serve as a starting point for larger works (woodcuts and drawings and more) under the Northlandia arctic narrative I will develop over the next decade.



About Northlandia


Northlandia is one of the five imaginary countries in The World of 2084, my lifelong project to portray a futuristic world in the corresponding year.


Drawing from diverse sources such as early arctic pioneer history, Inuit and Central American mythology, science fiction and children's literature, literary tradition magical realism and fairy tales, Northlandia is a surreal arctic tale of the precarious balance between human greed and the magical landscape, between the north and the rest of the world and between self-preservation and the rapidly changing climate.