Exhibitions trigger an alert call of saving the planet from plastic waste

Saturday, 2019-07-20 11:46:19
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A work on display at the 'Plastic Planet' exhibition (Photo: toquoc.vn)
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NDO – Two art exhibitions titled ‘Hanh Tinh Nhua’ (Plastic Planet) and ‘Xa Rac It Thoi’ (Reduce) opened recently in Hanoi, attracting much attention from the community. Utilising used plastic products; the participating artists have installed colourful art works with fresh visual effect which trigger an alert of saving the planet from plastic waste among visitors.

Reports from international environmental organisations showed that Vietnam throws away about 1.8 million tonnes of plastic every year. Of that amount, some 730,000 tonnes is released to the oceans, accounting for 6% of the world’s plastic volume dumped at sea, making the country the fourth biggest polluter of ocean plastic waste.

Hanoi in particular generates 6,400 tons of domestic waste each day. This is a number that has been on the increase every year, creating negative effects on the environment and citizens’ health.

Diverse languages of art

The exhibition “Reduce!”, running from July 15 to August 31 at L’Espace French Cultural Centre in Hanoi, aims to bring about a new perspective on production and consumption methods.

The highlight of the exhibition is an installation entitled ‘A Wave of Trash’, which is set up in the entrance of the exhibition. With around 500 kilogrammes of plastic items including bottles, cups, bags, and straws, which are placed upside down on the ceiling of the exhibiting space, the installation creates a confined and claustrophobic feeling among visitors as they go under a sky of trash with no escape routes.

There are also infographic boards showcasing serious messages about the alarming and increasing amount of garbage in Vietnam.


With around 500 kilogrammes of plastic items including bottles, cups, bags, and straws, which are placed upside down on the ceiling of the exhibiting space, the 'Wave of Trash' installation creates a confined and claustrophobic feeling among visitors as they go under a sky of trash with no escape routes. (Photo credit: Minh Nhan)

Meanwhile, at the “Plastic Planet” exhibition, which opens with free entry until August 18 at Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCA), six giant installations, sculptures, and interaction works are being displayed, bringing to the community the message of mindful use of plastic and limiting the negative effect it has on the environment.

The works are made from used plastic products such as straws, nylon, water bottles, household appliances, which were cleverly assembled into large-sized artworks, with some reaching 4 meters high, 18 meters long. All create a world of colorful plastic art, but also a prompt reminder of the real world where plastic is omnipresent: in nature, in our daily lives, on and in our bodies, and in the life of all creatures including humans.

The exhibition evokes a message: “Is plastic part of our world or are we part of a plastic world?”. The question raises contemplation on the values of plastic – an important invention of humanity, but in the process, the lack of conscious use with the material has caused many negative consequences for the living environment, thus encouraging the community to limit the use of disposable plastic, encourage a more conscious use of plastic, and cherish our living environment.

Bringing huge value to the community


Visitors admiring an installation art work at the 'Plastic Planet' exhibition (Photo credit: Minh Nhan)

All major changes come from little things. The change in every individual’s awareness on behavioural environment can contribute to bringing huge change in the living environment.

The art always finds its way to reflect the artists’ signature expression and bring value to the community at the same time. The two exhibitions have shown that artistic creations from plastic materials have created positive effect and strong impressions on visitors, particularly young people.

At the exhibition, the team also introduces to visitors alternatives to replace plastic products in order to promote green consumption behaviour: nylon bags can be replaced with cotton totes, plastic straws and cups are not necessary as we can use bamboo or stainless straws and glass cups.

As a member of a creation group at the ‘Reduce!’ exhibition, Viet Hoan, a student at the Hanoi University of Architecture, said that his team had to collect trash and then classifisy and process them to make their artwork.

“Maybe only when you bend down to pick up trash, you can realise that it is easy to throw garbage, but cleaning garbage is much more difficult,” Hoan said.


Viet Hoan and his teammates had to collect trash and then classifisy and process them to make their artwork at the 'Reduce!' exhibition (Photo credit: Minh Nhan)

After collecting hundreds of kilos of trash, Hoan’s team worked to turn useless and environmentally-harmful items into unique artworks.

Replying to a question on how the plastic waste will be handled after the exhibition closes, Marilan Nguyen, Director of the ‘Improving Hanoi’s urban environment’ project, said that the trash will be classified to be recycled or reused. Electronic waste such as batteries will be delivered to one of the five centres in Vietnam that are officially capable of processing e-waste.

Meanwhile, participating artists to the ‘Plastic Planet’ exhibition hopes that their artworks can be recycled scientifically and inspire people’s contemplation of the world we are living in.

From their observations, artists grouped together and raised their voice calling people to protect their living environment which is being flooded with waste. Through their installation artworks, the artists have created an interaction with viewers and opened up an impressive look on the alarming environmental pollution, thus raising public awareness on reducing plastic waste and respecting the living environment.