Gayle Chong Kwan – Wastescape
9th - 24th March 2019
Silo Park, Cnr Beaumont & Jellicoe Sts, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland, New Zealand
‘Wastescape’, by British artist Gayle Chong Kwan, explored New Zealand’s relationship to food and waste in a large-scale, immersive art installation using thousands of plastic milk bottles. In the New Zealand context Chong Kwan’s ‘Wastescape’ explored the effects of the controversial growth of the Countries intensive dairy industry on water, land use, Co2 emissions and biodiversity. Chong Kwan transformed Wynyard Quarter’s Silo 6 in Auckland, into a dream-like landscape with a political edge.
The work, a commission for ‘Surroundings’, combined thousands of used bottles collected from schools and communities in Auckland to create the otherworldly landscape. Chong Kwan’s work seeks to kickstart conversations about our own role as consumers and the impact of what we buy on our environment. It highlights the problems of the New Zealand dairy industry – its huge water use, pollution of fresh water supplies, use of palm oil kernels, large methane emissions, plastic waste and change of land use resulting in declines in biodiversity.
Te Tuhi and Invisible Dust see this partnership as an ideal opportunity to bring Gayle Chong Kwan’s visionary work which goes to the heart of what resources we prioritise to become sustainable nations to both New Zealand and UK audiences, and as a way to prompt vital discussions about the dairy industry and our future.
“Plastic waste is reaching alarming proportions, with 8 million tons of it ending up in our oceans. “Wastescape’ has the potential to educate the public through the power of enquiry and fascination that resides in visual art.” – Te Tuhi Artistic Director, Gabriela Salgado.‘Wastescape’ is commissioned for the Auckland Arts Festival with Te Tuhi, Auckland, in partnership with the Humber Museums Partnership.
‘Surroundings’ is produced by the Humber Museums Partnership (HMP), Hull, East Riding and North Lincolnshire in partnership with Invisible Dust. Launched in 2017 – the year of Hull City of Culture – the programme includes international public art commissions with an environmental theme, a young curator’s project, residencies and exhibitions. Each year has a different but interrelating theme – Food, Migration and Landscape respectively. It is funded by Arts Council England through Ambitions for Excellence and Wellcome Trust Sustaining Excellence.