Bats, Birds and Butterflies is an artwork that combines ancient auspicious symbols with geometry that is the basis of natural forms. Behind the design is a unique tiling system that was developed by the artist, based on a 5-fold geometry. The tiles are unusual in that they fit together in different sizes, and that as they form groups, the groups themselves are in the shapes of the birds, bats and butterflies. Across the artwork the motifs appear at all scales, and all the scales are related by the Golden Ratio, a ratio commonly found in nature in seeds, flowers and shells.
The artwork itself has references to batik and textiles in South East Asia, and all the elements within it are auspicious creatures in many Asian cultures. The word "bat" (fu, Chinese: 蝠) in Chinese sounds identical to the word for "luck" (fu, Chinese: 福), which is a pair of homophones implied linguistic symbolism. According to Chinese culture, when five bats grouped together, an auspicious meaning "Five good fortunes" is created.
The Chinese association of the dove is with long life and fidelity as doves pair for life. It is also revered for taking great care of its young. The Phoenix is one of the four celestial creatures, bringing good fortune and opportunity. The phoenix is also known as the king of all winged creatures and comes with the 5 human virtues, responsibility, humanity, reliability, compassion and righteous behavior.
The Butterfly symbolizes long life, beauty and elegance. A pair of butterflies represents love, specifically young love, happy social life for the young, undying bond between lovers, and represents yang energy of yin – yang.