Vortex (2018)

Pollution started with an act causing land, air, water and other parts of the environment dirty and hazardous for all creatures and mankind. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) [2018], an estimated 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 – nearly 1 in 4 of total global deaths, according to new estimates from WHO. Based from an article from Circle of Blue [2017], study finds that water pollution caused 1.8 million deaths in 2015 and as reported by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 80% of pollution in marine environment comes from the land through sources like runoff.

These facts bring me to the Pacific Trash Vortex issue. Often we see on film, the character has put a message in a bottle and cast it out to sea, hoping it would someday reach land. It makes me imagine that if they try to do it with a plastic bottle in real life, the message will probably end up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, merging with a huge collection of trash known as the Plastic Vortex. It’s an accumulation of plastics on the Pacific which the source may come from the land, seafaring vessels or oil platforms and it was caused by two point of whirling mass water in the Pacific Ocean. Hence, based on this issue that was caused by the vortex phenomenon, I am inspired and came out with the series ‘Pacific Vortex’ where I combine the issue and phenomenon of these elements as the inspiration.

Using the materials from plastic, construction nets, oil and water, I combine all the elements associated with this phenomenon, the cause and subject of the issue is transferred with elements in my own vision into a physical format through my body of work. The emerged subject on each of my art piece was made from foam and construction net, a reflection of the island of trash that dominates, the ariel view of the floor pieces allows the audience to evaluate the body of work from a different perspective – a resemblance of the large amounts of waste stranded on the Pacific Ocean that is now bigger than Alaska.

As quoted by Moncy Barbour, “Let the blue sky meet the blue sea and all is blue for a time”. We often associate the color of blue as a symbol of sky and water. With the heavy use of blue set against the color of nature, I remind the audience of the movements of nature and the relationships that exist within the environment, while the fluorescent colors are used to indicate the threats that caused pollution.

Pacific Vortex is my journey in finding a different perspective and causes of my action, it is a journey to discover the truth and an inspiration to challenge my capability to explore within. This presentation is to challenge the viewer’s perspective through a different mode of presentation. Pacific Vortex is my poetic statement on the current state of pollution and our role in the undoing of landscape.

Faizal Yunus

June 2018