An artist's vivid warning about pollution

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 June, 2010, 12:00am
 

The Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme is organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. It encourages students to take their passion for the arts beyond school and into the wider community. The ambassadors will take part in a series of arts programmes during the school holidays.

This week's artist is Chau Chuk-yu, a Form Six student at Christian Alliance S.C. Chan Memorial College, who talks about her sculpture, Pollution.

The artwork I would like to share is a sculpture on the theme of pollution. All over the world, pollution is a critical problem. People should be concerned about our earth and rethink the relationship between humans and nature.

I think art is more than a medium for expressing beauty; it should also link society to the human spirit. If my artwork makes people realise the importance of protecting the earth, it will have conveyed its message.

I chose a fish as my subject to represent the creatures of oceans and rivers, since water pollution is becoming a serious problem. The fish's struggling posture shows nature's reaction against pollution. I found it difficult to show the pain the fish suffers from the pollution, and tried to do so by surrounding it with iron pipes emitting pollutants. Hand-like trees reach out as if calling for help. But their efforts are in vain, showing humans' ignorance towards nature. I used cold colours including grey, green, brown and blue, to create an atmosphere of hopelessness. I hope this will stimulate people to think about the original beauty of nature.

The fish is curling its body upwards, which catches the viewer's attention. I chose to work with old newspaper because it is a recyclable and relatively easy-to-use material. I built up the core by twisting pieces of newspaper and sticking them together, then finally shaped it into a fish.

To ensure that the fish looked real, I searched for pictures of leaping fish. I also updated myself on the internet about the latest pollution problems.

I considered other possibilities before deciding to show the fish alive and struggling. It could have been a dead fish, but then it would have lacked the dramatic impact needed to make people imagine the creature's fate. I hope this piece of artwork will draw people's attention to nature, which used to be full of vitality and harmony.

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