Over the Horizon – Wang Ruobing’s art installation of plastic waste from shores of Singapore! (Until 3rd Apr 2016)

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Over the Horizon is an installation work by the artist Wang Ruobing using plastic marine debris collected from Singapore shores at at Changi, Pasir Ris Parks, Kranji, Sungei Pandan, Seletar North Link, Lim Chu Kang and Pulau Ubin.

Her artwork can be viewed from 4th February to 3rd April 2016 at the Esplanade concourse. Wach the video here:

About the installation:

“The most commonly used everyday material since the beginning of the 20th century, plastic is non-biodegradable and often ends up floating in the oceans for years before breaking down into environmentally-damaging microplastic.

Over the Horizon is a site-specific installation dealing with plastic pollution. Made from plastic waste collected from Singapore’s coastlines, creating an elevated viewing platform on which audiences can observe kinetic plastic-waste waves, it explores this global issue, highlighting the interdependency of individual activities.

Artist/ curator/ researcher Wang Ruobing’s practice often explores how nature/environment is a source of disjuncture and a reflector mirroring people’s social, political and cultural struggles.”

In June last year, we received Ruobing’s request and arranged for her to participate in the Youth Day cleanup at Sungei Pandan mangrove in July. Some of the trash collected from this cleanup and other cleanups by passionate environmental groups in Singapore such as Sea Shepherds and the Nature Society (Singapore), were brought back by the artist, and given a second life in educating the public!

Awesome work, Ruobing!

NTU Earthlink, Singapore Pools & Independents remove a ton of trash at Lim Chu Kang mangrove in two hours, hooray! [27 Feb 2016]

78 volunteers gathered at the end of Lim Chu Kang Road at 8.00am on a Saturday morning on 27th February 2016.

Led by environment club NTU Earthlink, the 47 students were joined by 11 staff of Singapore Pools and 20 independents (members of public and ICCS). NTU Earthlink’s Nature Guiding Director Wong Zhi Sian carefully went through the operation procedure and safety briefing, and identified the first aider for the day. Gloves and trash bags were handed and volunteers were ready for action!

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I have been to Lim Chu Kang mangrove several times of cleanups but am still appalled by the sight of the trash which is recruited there! As the landward side is a nature area with no recreation activity, it is the trash load from the Straits of Johor which is brought in by incoming currents. Bulky items such as chairs, barrels, canoes and fishing nets, often pepper the mangrove, possibly abandoned by the fishermen operating both near shore and offshore.

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Trash at the Lim Chu Kang Mangrove.

Most of the team worked the sandy beach which was heavily polluted with macro-trash – especially numerous were straws, plastic bottles and styrofoam pieces. Two fishing nets (about 3m in length) were also removed.  With the help of the North-West Zone Captain Adriane Lee, seven other volunteers successfully untangled, removed and transported one of the fishing nets out of the mangrove. This took approximately half an hour, phew!

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Look at our happy volunteers!

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The curse of plastic straws! Say no to single use disposable straws, please.

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Eight volunteers transporting a massive trash.

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Volunteers and North-West Zone Captain, Adriane Lee, removing a fishing net.

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After an excellent two hours of cleanup (60 minutes for a year-round cleanup is typical), volunteers formed a human chain to move the trash bags to Weighing Point and then to the Trash Disposal Point. After some quick calculations, Zhi Sian cheerfully announced that we removed a total of 982.5kg of trash from the mangrove.

What a great contribution, volunteers!

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Transporting trash via a human chain made our work easier.

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Weighing trash bags.

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Well done, volunteers!

Thank you for an excellent contribution to protecting the environment, NTU Earthlink, Singapore Pools and Independents!

Photo album on Flickr.

NUS’ Ridge View Residential College Chinese New Year coastal cleanup @ TM7 – 204kg of trash removed by 38 students and staff [22 Feb 2016]

On the blazing hot afternoon of 22 February 2016, 38 students and staffs from the NUS Ridge View Residential College (RVRC) conducted a coastal cleanup at Tanah Merah Site 7, a non-recreational beach located adjacent to the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. They removed 29 trash bags of marine trash weighing 204kg.

This cleanup is a feature of the college’s GEM1917 module “Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability”, but more importantly, it is a part of raising awareness of the marine debris problem and its harmful impacts on the environment.

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An astounding number of expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) pieces, plastic bottles, plastic pieces, glass bottles, cigarette lighters, slippers and toys were found at the beach.

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Several bulky items such as a rope and a television were also seen on the beach, some of which were embedded deeply in the sand. These trash require strategic removal with much effort and patience. It was a test of the participants’ teamwork spirit and I’m glad they made it!

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With a low tide of 0.9m at 4.00pm, participants were able to explore the intertidal shore and remove trash deposited by the tide. Marine life such as the carpet anemone was encountered by some. What a great reminder to us that the shore is teeming with life and that cleanups are crucial to keep the shore a habitable one for them.

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Keeping track of time, the participants began to weigh and transport the trash bags out after 90 minutes of cleanup. A total of 204kg in 29 trash bags were removed from the beach!

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At the end of the day, all of the participants left with a smiley face. Well done, RVRC! Thank you for protecting the marine environment and please continue to do so!

More photos and a video of the cleanup are available for viewing.

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