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Art & Culture

What Mermaids Think of Plastic Waste: Art that combines beauty and impact in the age of visual communication

By April 9, 2020August 27th, 2020No Comments
Plastic Drain: © Benjamin Von Wong

Canadian photographer Benjamin Von Wong uses his creative mastery to turn a pile of 10,000 plastic bottles into captivating photos to spark conversation about ocean pollution.

Artist and photographer Benjamin Von Wong felt that ocean plastic, due to its complexity, can be a boring topic. So, he created a visually engaging collection of photographs that make this subject more interesting and comprehensible.

In this series of photographs, Von Wong features a mermaid, and a sea made up of thousands of plastic bottles. According to the artist, he chose the mermaid as a unique and beautiful symbol to represent the ocean and the used plastic bottles to highlight the topic of plastic pollution.

The project, curated by Von Wong, was a collaborative work with various artists and supporters involving 10,000 bottles* borrowed from waste management company Tomra, which were then de-labelled, uncapped and prepared by many volunteers. The production took place in a warehouse, where the team of talented creatives worked with different mediums and equipment on a multi-scale operation, leaving us with these striking images that bring the issue of plastic pollution closer to our minds.

*The number reflects the average usage of plastic bottles by an American for the course of their lifetime, calculated from an approximate yearly usage figure.