artist talk at takt artist residency, berlin

i'm very happy to invite you to an evening of artist talks on wednesday 13th at 7pm at takt artist residency, berlin. my dear friend and talented artist nina thorwart (www.ninathorwart.de) and i will be introducing our art practices. the talk i'm holding is titled 'from waste to art: changing values by changing perception'.
looking forward to seeing my old berlin crowd again!

'takt talk'
takt artist residency
weserstrasse 11
berlin friedrichshain

more info on https://www.facebook.com/events/1484944171762421/


lost'n'found at ocean park hong kong

 talking about mainstream: with over 20,000 visitors per day ocean park hong kong is one of the 7 most popular theme parks worldwide. the park states to provide 'unique experiences that combine entertainment with education and conservation'. as a visitor i always felt that this credo disappears under the mass of entertainment and amusement attractions and the commercialization of animals and nature. for the first time now, not being a visitor but a contributor to these experiences, i'm getting a different angle to this picture. working within the educational department i can see their efforts of bringing awareness, knowledge and conservation approaches into the park. talking about oceans these days is not only amusement! displaying an installation like lost'n'found shows their willingness to confront visitors with the threatening human impacts on the oceans. it is a couragious step away from a generalized, partial and romantisized  perception of the complex marine eco-system!

lost'n'found is part of ocean park's 'blue matters' campaign addressing the problem of marine pollution, over-fishing and marine biodiversity in hong kong. to all of these problems solutions are on hand: ocean park is now only serving sustainable seafood at its restaurants, the ocean park conservation foundation (www.opcf.org.hkis monitoring species in hongkong waters and trained staff is raising awareness of the negative impacts of plastic packaging. the volume of plastic packaging at the park is reduced by replacing single-use plastic packaging with bio-degradable packaging at all stalls (coming into effect this year) and promoting water fountains to refill your water bottle. this 3-year campaign is a step in the right direction, with a huge impact on over 20,000 hongkongers and mainland chinese each day. from this angle mainstream also means a great chance!

lost'n'found is located directly in front of the old-hongkong-road on your way up to the cable car. you can't miss it. the waste-pai-dong will be on display all through july and august 2014 and is open every day from 10am-5:30pm. 

this is the text on the panel:
"It took one single day, one single beach and one group of motivated people to collect all the rubbish you see in this hawker-stall. It was collected on a beach in South Country Park on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. Every single piece you see here has been in the ocean, sometimes for years, before it got washed ashore. The colours are neither altered manually nor digitally. 
Plastic lasts forever! Day by day, year by year, decade by decade plastic is accumulating in the oceans. All sea creatures, from tiny plankton to gigantic whales, are suffering the consequences. They get trapped, strangeled, poisoned and suffer fatal injuries internally as well as externally. These creatures pay for our convenience. Please be aware that plastic lasts forever when you buy your next plastic bottle. 
You are responsible for the choices you make! 
You can make a difference right now by refilling your water-bottle at one of our drinking-water-fountains! Please refer to the guide-map for locations.
Renowned German-born Hong Kong artist liina klauss adopts her signature style of using local beach rubbish and found natural materials to create environmental installations. Gathering a community of volunteers she creates temporary installation on beaches worldwide. Her installations raise awareness for the beauty of nature, for the impact we humans have on it and for the human potential to turn something ugly into something beautiful. 
Through her art liina redefines the value we give waste on an aesthetic as well as on an intrinsic level."

p.s. more recent pictures of lost'n'found in ocean park on facebook.com/artofliinaklauss


article in south china morning post

SCMP on june 25th 2014
it's a small picture on the front page, but still it's the front page! here's an article in the south china morning post about environmental artists in hongkong: monti lai, benjamin hao and me. how we work, where we find challenges in this metropolis and what's driving us to do what we do. the full article by kate whitehead is online:


to enlarge article double-click on picture 


waste mountain water / 垃圾山水 in taiwan

'waste mountain water / 垃圾山水 no.9', 2014, jialeshuei beach, taiwan

this is the first art installation that i have done outside of hong kong. it is located on a beautiful beach in kenting national park on the southern tip of taiwan. when i inspected the beach prior to the art installation, i was doubting we'd find enough man-made waste to fill up the whole colour spectrum. sadly enough we did. with the help of over 30 passionate art activists, we painted an area of about 10 square meters with all colours of the rainbow: fishing nets, single-use plastic bottles, boots, shades, straws, a toilet seat... the list is infinite. most of the trash was trapped within rocks and vegetation and not visible on first sight. compared to hong kong there is definitely less trash per square meter on this beach, yet the findings are almost identical: predominantly light-weight plastic. 

some of the found objects i recognized from hong kong. asking if these things were sold in taiwan the activists negated. another bottle still had its origins 'made in the phillipines' printed on it. in my hands i am holding proof of this simple yet horrible truth: warm ocean currents carry plastic waste from south-east-asia towards the north. some of this waste gets washed ashore on beaches like this one in southern taiwan, the rest travels on to the north pacific where it accumulates in a gyre. gathering toxins and breaking down into ever smaller pieces, these pieces are eaten by fish and other sea-creatures. tiny micro-plastics are eaten by plankton. apart from polluting our oceans and threatening wildlife, this man-made material enters the food chain! for more scientific information please visit www.5gyres.org
often i get asked 'what can i do?' and i say 'start with yourself!' in this colour-wheel like in so many other installations that i've done, the single-use water bottles take up almost a fifth of the space. we can eliminate these convenient yet all-polluting PET bottles: bring your own! it might be a tiny action, but if a couple of million people all do the same, it has a huge impact (as we can see in its negative!!).

in the face of so many horrifying facts, i am yet again grateful to meet amazing people who want to help and be part of the solution. to each and everyone who came on that hot day, picking up trash, sorting, sweating, abandoning the surf-board (how hard is that!), playing, taking pictures, and even using the installation for a bonfire: this is not possible without you! you are the ones who spread the message further! my heartfelt gratitude to you. thank you.
i want to especially thank claire from bossa-nova-beach-cafe for organizing this event: you are not only an excellent cook but also an extremely talented event manager! thanks also to la benida for her enthusiasm, help and hospitality: we felt like part of the family!
a big thank you also to society of wilderness (www.sow.org.tw), kenting national park (www.ktnp.gov.tw), kuroshio ocean foundation (www.kuroshio.org.tw) and environmental information association (www.e-info.org.tw) for their support.

more coverage on http://e-info.org.tw/node/99716
and http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/life/breakingnews/1020868


art awareness activists needed in taiwan!

i'm very excited to announce that we'll be doing a waste mountain water / 垃圾山水 in taiwan end of this month!
it's a beautiful beach on the southern most tip of taiwan, blessed with turquoise waters and waves ideal for surfing. the beach is close to a laid back fishing village called jialeshuei. if you happen to be in the area, please drop by! if not please tell everyone you know in taiwan!
for easier communication my friend claire from bossanova beach cafe (very recommendable by the way:) put an event on facebook. the link to the location is very helpful: https://www.facebook.com/events/562257527216788/permalink/562258773883330/

if you want to help spread the word the old-school way, please print out this poster and paste it - yeah:) 
download full resolution poster here: 

friday 30th may 9am to sundown
530日週五 上午9時至日落
and saturday 31st may 9am-12pm

jialeshuei fishing village, southern taiwan 
tea road 248, manzhou township, pingtung county port villagers

art installation will be on display until sunday

see you in taiwan!


last weekend for lost'n'found at stanley!

lost'n'found opens its colours for the last time this weekend, 3rd & 4th of may at the waterfront promenade in stanley. i will be there saturday and sunday from 11am - 5pm to sign your personal piece of lost'n'found. it would be lovely to see you there...

 published in the column 《優哉游Joy by "Joyce Yau" in the feature page of Sing Tao Daily 星島日報 on Apr. 19th 2014
here is a little read from sing tao daily 星島日報, published last week (translation might be a bit awkward, but hopefully better than google translate)

Stanley is a great place to visit during your holidays: Families with their kids and dogs stroll around and the atmosphere is warm and relaxed.
Stanley Promenade has always been a good place to display art. Currently Ocean Art Walk is showcased along the promenade, an extremely attractive exhibition.
The six installations are outstanding in terms of their visual and conceptual message.  When I approached the exhibition space, the first installation that caught my eye was the “garbage booth”. At first glance it looks like some beautifully decorated hawker stall. Paying closer attention to details, I discovered that these pretty decorations are plastic slippers, old toys and flattened plastic bottles, each labeled with a price tag saying "awareness” or “responsibility”. German artist Liina Klauss passionately shares her concept to raise awareness about pollution of our oceans, about non-degradable plastic waste, about reflecting upon our modern-day lifestyle and habits and their impact on mother nature.
Living on Lantau Island, Liina loves nature and has never averted her eyes from the massive loads of rubbish washed ashore.  She "curates" the beach and turns waste into art. For this current installation she first cleaned all the rubbish she collected, then organized it into a colour sequence, and finally put it into a traditional hawker stall. The audience is first captured by the colourful appearance and only later realizes the sad message behind her work. By singing your promise to love the ocean you may take a piece of the installation home, complete with the signature of the artist.
Other artists use old plastic bottles, CDs and plastic objects to make art installations.  Visitors capture all these in their lens, appreciating and reflecting upon the artists different methods of transferring an environmental messages. I hope that everyone will take home some food for thought about our oceans and our daily life connection to it.
On that opening day I also enjoyed young dancers under the guide of HK Youth Arts Foundation, expressing endangered ocean life through dance and choreography. So with the Easter Holiday ahead, please take the time to enjoy the art installations and performances at Stanley and don’t forget to make an effort to save our beautiful ocean!


lost'n'found / 垃圾排檔

lost'n'found / 垃圾排檔 at stanley plaza, hongkong, 2014
lost'n'found / 垃圾排檔 (detail) at stanley plaza, hongkong, 2014 

interactivity between visitors and waste. at lost'n'found / 垃圾排檔 hongkong, 2014