A Wayward Word's Worth

December 15, 2011

Refuse as muse

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 10:36 am

Can trash art inspire us to see junk in a new light? By Kyle Mullin for The Beijinger Monthly Magazine, December 2011

The next ice cream wrapped or empty bottle you toss could end up on a gallery’s walls.

From a city perimeter of litter captured by photographer Wang Jiuliang to the moldy garbage molded anew by sculptor Luan Xiao, brimming local landfills have prompted the town’s most creative minds to craft a new genre of ecology: trash art.

Used motor oil canisters are difficult to recycle; even when empty, they are still slick with traces of fuel. Most of us would throw away such containers, thereby contributing to already packed trash dumps. But Luan Xiao collects and strings them together in a bulky oblong tapestry, and then binds them to a tree. The canisters form a shell around the trunk, their colorful plastic glinting  almost as bright as Yuletide bulbs, leaving Luan with a “trashy” abstract art Christmas tree.

“Oil containers cannot simply be regarded as a menace,” Luan said about the canisters that normally clog landfills. “By letting them become a creative resource, they could offer a solution and become themselves
unexpected gifts.”


REFUSE AS MUSE (Starting on Pg. 12)


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