Laojun Mountain in Yunnan, China, is home to more than 194 species of birds. Coinciding with nesting season and Earth Day, the Woolmark Company gave our feathered friends a leg up on nest building with an art installation that also showcased the sustainability of Merino wool.
"Nest Starter" is the first work from Mother Shanghai for the brand's "Merino Wool. Live with Nature" platform in China. Each installation—there are six—looks like an oversized mushroom head and meshes well with nature, as shown in the video below.
Local weavers created the installations using 69 pounds of pure, raw, unwashed Merino wool that birds can peck away at to create nests. Mother Shanghai notes that the wool went "straight from sheep to installation."
The video will run across owned and paid channels in China.
Per Mother Shanghai, Laojun Mountain was the ideal location, as "it's the home to over 194 species of birds. Aside from their stunning beauty with regard to the landscape, the site was selected based on a set of carefully considered conditions: feasibility of putting up the installation without damaging the woods; species of birds; the density of nesting bird community in spring; filming possibility."
The agency says the challenges came "less from the creation of the installation but more on putting them in place high up on Laojun Mountain—from a last-minute transportation travel ban (due to Covid) to stringing them at 3,860 meters above sea level. Plus, the inability to predict weather conditions."
The film crew had to leave within certain time parameters due to weather conditions and a high altitude. When the weather is warmer, and travel restrictions are lifted (Shanghai is currently in Covid lockdown), they plan to shoot updated video of the installations post-wool removal.
"Most birds are incredibly skilled at building nests without any help from people," says Mother Shanghai, "But often, the fluff they gather contains traces of synthetics, and we wouldn't recommend that."
Client: The Woolmark Company
Agency: Mother Shanghai
Creative: Mother Shanghai
Strategy: Mother Shanghai
Director: H. Stanley
Assistant Director: L.C Xu
Director of Photography: Nick Yang
Set Designer: Miga Liang
Music Composer: Kuniyuki Takahashi a.k.a Koss
SFX: Mix Studio
Production Company: PLAYFilms Shanghai
Visual Effects: Tao&Jill
Production Company: Twinkle Lab
Photography: Scott Lee