20150618

trash-land-art in portugal


Marine litter, is it trash or treasure?  The answer at Plasticity Forum 2015 in Cascais, Portugal was definitely: Treasure! Plasticity is a yearly conference bringing together representatives of the plastic manufacturing industry as well as recycling industry, plastic researchers, designers, conservationists and municipal representatives to discuss the future of plastic and solutions for a sustainable life with plastic. Thanks to Doug Woodring, founder of Ocean Recovery Alliance, I was invited to create an environmental installation at the Plasticity Forum in order to raise awareness for marine pollution in Portugal. 

Here's a short version of the concept: Regarding the questions 'Where does it come from?' and 'Where is away?' the installation 'circle' gives a holistic answer showing the interconnectedness and continuum of all life as well as the implications of our human actions. The installation questions our value system by showing trash as something beautiful and valuable and challenging the viewer in his/her traditional believes: 'Is it still ugly? When did it become beautiful? Is this art or is this trash?' The magic of transforming trash into treasure becomes a visual and sensual experience. The goal of 'circle' to spark curiosity, to offer a different view-point and to trigger dialogue about plastic and marine pollution. Here are pictures of the making-process:

This was my very first trash-land-art installation outside of South-East Asia! Compared to Hong Kong the waste found on Portugal's beaches was not any different: Marine litter that gets washed ashore consists of things that floats and is pretty much the same all around the world. The quantity in Portugal is clearly less than in Hong Kong: 25 bags (50l) collected in 3 days on a 45 km stretch of beach but it is still too much. 


Pollution in Portugal in numbers:
cotton buds: 348
plastic bottles (water): 333
glass bottles (beer): 119
styrofoam boxes (fish bait): 131
plastic bottles (drinking yoghurt):  98
salt plastic bottles:  30

My gratitude to Doug Woodring of Ocean Recovery Alliance for inviting me to Plasticity!  An equally big thanks to ByFusion, a New York based environmental technology company for sponsoring my stay (waste as value & recovery as a solution - please visit www.byfusion.com). Thanks to all the volunteers for their time and enthusiasm as well as to Associação Portuguesa do LixoMarinho and Brigada do Mar for organizing all the prior logistics of collecting, sorting and storing trash/treasure. And last but not least I'm particulartly happy that the installation 'circle' will be reused for educational purposes in collaboration with Dr.Paula Sobral, professor for Environmental Studies at Nova Lisbon University.  May the ripples spread wide and far!






20150616

ocean hero

Ecozine summer edition 2015


within two hours we find 246 shoes. a friend of mine and me are on a beautiful beach in south lantau. we're by ourselves except a fisherman on a rock in the far distance. the beach is filled with white sand and embraced by big bleached boulders on both sides. the water is clear and soft waves fill the air with a calming swoosh. a black kite is soaring high above us. on the horizon small islands are in a misty blur. for thousands of years chinese artists have captured this serenity of nature on paper. these ink scrolls are called 山水. literally 山 means mountain and 水 means water, translated as 'landscape'. for thousands of years this landscape has not changed. but starting 50 years ago a third element, man-made,  has entered the picture: plastic. our civilization will be remembered by this element, because it lasts hundreds maybe thousands of years. we do not know the exact durability because we are in this experiment for the first time ever. 
500 years ago leonardo da vinci drew a picture called 'le proporzioni del corpo umano secondo vitruvio'. it depicts a beautiful man in a circle with his arms and legs stretched out and free. it is the artist's observation of the proportions of the human body and the translation of those natural measurements into architecture. nature was the artist's paradigm for the creation of beauty. today we still possess this tremendous creative power. the centre of the circle is the human navel: all comes from within us, imagined by the human mind, materialized by human hands. yet today we cannot move freely anymore. lying in this circle of marine litter i feel like lying in a body cast. we have created an avalanche of material beauty that has gotten out of hands. we have created a reality in which we cannot swim in the sea anymore, because it is full of trash. we cannot eat fish anymore because it is contaminated. we cannot appreciate the horizon anymore because it is blurred by smog. we believe that we need 'things' to make life easier, more comfortable, essentially happier. and this surely is true to some extend, but today we have lost the sense of proportion! do we really need 20 pairs of shoes in our closet? do we really need bottled water from the other end of the globe for lunch? rather than working to earn the money to buy another pair of shoes, would it not be wonderful to spend that time walking barefoot on a beautiful beach? rather than drinking sterilized water from a plastic bottle would it not be wholesome to drink cool fresh water from a mountain stream? 
the relation of man and nature is what da vinci captured ingeniously in his drawing 500 years ago. this relationship has never changed. we are still striving for a balanced and harmonious life. for me personally nature is the answer. all of what we are looking for is already here. it is just outside of our civilized reality, waiting for us to arrive. now.


this portrait is called 'out of proportion' and is part of the series 'trash-land-art / 垃圾山水'. 

20150602

Installation & Workshop for Zero Waste Week


I've been keeping quiet about my installation 'the present' which will be  part of the first ever Zero Waste Week here in Hong Kong! All I can say about this art-installation is that it's shockingly plenti-and colourful! You have to see it with your own eyes:)
Zero Waste Week is organized by Ecozine and HKCleanup. It includes a Youth Conference from Monday-Wednesday, a summit on Thursday&Friday and a weekend open to the public with free workshops and a market themed all around sustainability and environmental awareness. Definitely more than one reason to head out to Cyberport! 

Please be invited to my workshop 'Tracing Waste' on Saturday 14.June from 11am-12:30pm as part of Zero Waste Week. Combining realistic drawing and creative writing this workshop answers the question so many of us ask upon seeing the amount of waste washed ashore in Hong Kong: "Why?" Like archeologists we will trace waste back to its origins: observing reality through life drawing, asking the right questions and writing a story combining the facts we gathered with fiction. The workshop is open to all ages (adults are welcome:) and you need to bring nothing but your openminded self! 


More photos of this workshop are here: http://wunderkinderhongkong.blogspot.hk/2015/03/be-true-detective.html?m=1


It was so inspiring to meet Paul Connett, the man on the forefront of the Zero Waste Movement. Thanks so much for coming to Hong Kong - your vision is needed here more than anywhere else!

More info on facebook.com/artofliinaklauss


20150522

an installation for Plasticity Forum in Portugal!

draft for 'circle' 垃圾山水 trash-land-art installation in Cascais, Portugal
200 attendees 48 hours 25 speakers one important conversation: THE FUTURE OF PLASTIC!  Plasticity Forum, organized by Ocean Recovery Alliance is an annual conference held June 8 – 9 in Cascais, Portugal. The forum forms part of a global series of events in Portugal: The Economist’s World Ocean Summit and Portugal’s Blue Week. Building on the success of the previous Plasticity Forums in Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong and New York, this year’s forum will focus on "Designing for Circularity, Customer Engagement, Reverse Supply Chains and Reaching Scale”. 











I'm proud to be making a trash-land-art installation called 'circle' for Plasticity Forum at Cicadela Historic Hotel in Cascais open for visitors from 4.-10.June. Two great marine protection organizations have already started to collect trash/treasure: Associação Portuguesa do Lixo Marinho and Brigada do Mar. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm! And of course we always want to inpire more: If you are in the area and interested to be part of the 'art-awareness-activism' please connect HERE for schedule and event details. The more people, the more art, the more fun, the more awareness!

Here's a short version of the concept: Regarding the questions 'Where does it come from?' and 'Where is away?' the installation 'circle' gives a holistic answer showing the interconnectedness and continuum of all life as well as the implications of our human actions. The installation questions our value system by showing trash as something beautiful and valuable and challenging the viewer in his/her traditional believes: 'Is it still ugly? When did it become beautiful? Is this art or is this trash?' The magic of transforming trash into treasure becomes a visual and sensual experience. The goal of 'circle' to spark curiosity, to offer a different view-point and to trigger dialogue about plastic and marine pollution.

For more details please check my facebook page ... Hope to see you in Portugal:)

20150512

two workshops for 'mother earth groove'


I'm happy to invite you to MOTHER EARTH GROOVE this SUNDAY 17th May at CHEUNG SHA BEACH from 2-6pm. I'll be giving two workshops: 'mind-your-head' and 'paints made from scratch - the radical self-reliant artist'. All proceeds will be going to the best charity in HongKong raising awareness, respect and gratitude for the natural world around us: ARCEDEN 

See you all on beautiful Cheung Sha Beach this coming Sunday:)



20150508

a new project for microgalleries

I'm proud to be part of MicroGalleries 2015: From 8 – 24 May, in Nowra, Australia with over 40 stunning artists from the Shoalhaven, wider Australia and from around the world!


The title of the work you see above is called 'involuntary pairs'. These photos are my contribution to MicroGalleries in Nowra, Australia this year. I've been collecting these pairs since 2013.  
Every object has been lost at sea and found on a beach in Asia. The matching in pairs follows the principle of sameness meaning the human perception recognizes them as same. Yet their inherent qualities couldn't be more different: while one originates from nature the other one is a product of human imagination and manufacturing. What starts as an innocent visual comparison has fatal consequences for wildlife, humans and nature as a whole. Latest research from 2014 estimates that more than five trillion pieces of plastic weighing 269,000 tons have accumulated in the world oceans. Plastic brakes down to the nano size particles, is eaten by plankton, small fish, bigger fish and humans at the end of the food chain. What you see here is a small excerpt of a huge ecological catastrophe. 

MicroGalleries is going to work with Nowra to prove how a community can re-frame how they view their environment and their cultural offering to the local community and the world, as well as demonstrate that everyone can appreciate and enjoy art if they are provided the opportunity to do so – Nowra is gonna prove our theory.
Pop-up space, symposiums, performance installations, sounds drops, new interdisciplinary work, walls upon walls of pastings and a couple of cheeky pot hole gardens and Nowra will never be the same again! Schedule is here: microgalleries.org/events/nowra-australia-baby/
Sign up for one of seven free tours led by performance artists, join us in the pop-up arts space or just grab a map and meander through town. It’s all free and when you’re done there’s plenty of awesome local coffee, shops and a gazillion Op-Shops to sink your teeth into!


20150501

all colours






i was asked why i'm working with all colours of the spectrum and not just with blue representing water and green representing the mountains. the question came from a hongkong journalism student, understanding the title 垃圾山水. this is the name i've given to the land-art installations meaning trash-mountain-water in the sense of trash-landscape. to the natural elements of mountain= and water=水 i'm adding a third element, acutely recent and man-made: trash=垃圾
when painting i don't choose my colours, i paint with the colours i find on that particular beach. i paint with that which presents itself to me. you could almost say the colours find me rather than the other way around. and  ALL colours are present in the landscape:  from dark to light, from man-made to organic, from vibrant to dull, from alive to dead. the colour-wheel that i lay out is all-encompassing. there are no good or bad colours! 
i'm very humble in the presence of this all-encompassing concept seeing the smallness of my human judgements constantly criticizing this and that. my heart tells me it is much more than merely a mental concept. every time i'm connected to this all-encompassing energy i'm in awe: nature has no favourites, nature has no prejudices, nature is forever adjusting and nature always all-ways forgives. there is a yearning to learn these qualities, to find them inside myself, to be this. if we are not nature then what are we? do we still perceive ourselves as separate? these qualities are inside of us, too. it is time to go through our own inner rubbish and find those qualities that have been buried for so long. rather than learning this from the head i feel i have to be still enough, sensitive enough to see and acknowledge them inside my very being. they are longing to come out into the light and show their colours! ALL COLOURS!