Wang Wang ("Net Net")
Born on 31/08/05 at Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre, China, Wang Wang is a very laid-back and placid boy. Like all Giant Pandas, he loves to snooze but can usually roused by a fresh stalk of bamboo.
Funi ("Lucky Girl")
Born on 23/08/06 at Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre, China, Funi is very active and playful and often makes excited mewing vocalisations at feeding time. She is also very intelligent, curious and loves to explore.
Giant Pandas have walked the earth for over 3 million years. They have survived changes in the natural environment because of their ability to adapt – their ‘way’ of living harmoniously with nature. By exploring ‘The Way of the Panda’, you may gain a greater understanding of how to live in closer harmony with nature.
As with all art, the meaning of what we take from it is very personal. The following descriptions are one possible interpretation of design elements within the exhibit:
Circles and Squares
The circle is a symbol of unity, balance and harmony, the square is a symbol of perfection, virtue, honesty, morality and integrity. Together, the circle symbolises the universe and the harmony craved for within it, while the square embodies how that harmony can be achieved on earth.
The rectangular frames represent the Yin and Yang elements of our world, creating the ‘perfect’ way. The gateway, sitting on a circular plane, suggests that the ‘perfect’ way – or lifestyle – is one that maintains the balance and harmony of our environment.
The Panda Sculptures
The nine sculptures represent nine life-cycle stages of a giant panda, merging the Panda’s life cycle to the development of our consciousness, and the position the sculptures assume in relation to its plinth reflects our relationship with The Way that will lead to harmony with our planet.
The Harmony Plinth
The pedestal is based around the forms of the circle representing heaven, and the square representing earth. The union of male stone (mountain) and female (sea) also represents the harmony of yin and yang. Together the base and column represents the way towards attaining harmony on our planet.
The Chinese Coins
Nine ancient Chinese coins are placed within the exhibit. The circle and the square represent the balance of nature and the human spirit. The quotation on each coin provides us with a snippet of ancient wisdom that remain as relevant today as when they were written.
The Way of the Panda book
This children’s picture book is a fictional interpretation of how the Giant Panda got its peculiar markings. The premise of the story is based on the two questions surrounding the Great Panda: How did it get those particular black and white markings, and what made this meat eater become a bamboo eater?
The story suggests that the way we can achieve sustainability is changing the way we think and live. This can only happen if we renew our lost connection with the environment. The other endangered animals, from the same region as Giant Pandas, feature amongst the illustrations as well as appearing as actual cut-outs in the Bamboo Forest at Adelaide Zoo.