To step under “Plastic Ocean,” the art installation created by Tan Zi Xi, an artist from Singapore, is to find oneself in a situation unnervingly similar to being underwater – except the surface covered completely in a layer of plastic trash. Working with hundreds of pieces of plastic items, which are known to pollute our planet’s oceans, Plastic Ocean shows viewers exactly where all of their trash eventually goes.
Tan Zi Xi’s installation displayed at the Sassoon Docks Art Project, an initiative by St+Art India, consists of a massive amount of plastic waste, like water bottles and shopping bags. The items are hung low from the ceiling and a blue light that brings the sensation of being underwater filters through.
The walls in the space were covered in mirrors making the plastic waste the only thing that can be seen. Standing in the middle of the display, the spectator is offered a unique point of view – that of a fish.
“Experience the infinity of Plastic Ocean, and be immersed in this man made tragedy,” the artist shared on her Instagram page. “The installation reflects an ocean that is highly cluttered with plastic that takes 1,000 years to degrade.”
“When people encounter a visual piece like Plastic Ocean in an enclosed space, they are inevitably forced to think about it,” Zi Xi shared with Homegrown. “Also, people are tired of reading and hearing about social and environmental issues, perhaps the impact of a physical encounter with a similar message will hit home.”
This installation shows its audience very literally what the problem of plastic pollution looks like – and what it feels like. Every year, around 8.8 million tons of plastic trash end up in the world’s oceans. Plastic pollution has already made it as far as the Arctic Ocean and it is killing a shocking number of marine animals and threatening entire species. Although not directly visible to most of us, the plastic problem is something we have to address – and art pieces like this one can inspire swift action.
To learn more about Tan Zi Xi and her work, click here.
To learn how to help the planet by using less plastic, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!
All image source: Tan Zi Xi/Instagram