A number of youths in Pangkung Tibah Village, Kediri District, Tabanan Regency, Bali, have created installation artworks installation from sandals waste materials they picked up on the beach.
The young men, who are members of the SOS Beach Projects, named the installation art Traces Of Civilization Memories. The installation is now on display on the edge of Pangkung Tibah Beach.
Gede Oka Astawa, one of the initiators of the art installation, said the meaning of the organisation’s name is actually the international Morse code sign to ask for help when in distress.
“But we play on that and use SOS as sunset on Sunday,” said Astawa when contacted on Saturday 5th March 2022.
The height of the artwork is about three metres, with the letters SOS shaped and other trash ornaments added. All the waste that has been processed into the work of art came from plastic waste, used sandals, glass bottles, wood, and bamboo that was obtained at Pangkung Tibah Beach.
“We started collecting sandals and other waste from the beginning of January 2022. Assembling takes more than a week and the number of members is not fixed, anyone who has time can join, it’s not binding,” he added.
Astawa also explained the reason for making the installation art; it started with several youths in his village who had the same anxiety and concern about ecology. In particular, they were worried about the coast of Pangkung Tibah Beach.
“The beach for us is a gift and a masterpiece from God, which we must be grateful for and maintain,” he said.
He also said that Traces Of Civilization Memories is an art installation made from wood waste, used rubber sandals and glass bottles, which are taken on the beach every Sunday afternoon with other youths.
According to him, this work means remembering the traces of past events that have become history in everyone’s lives. Namely, the meaning of used rubber sandals as a symbol of footsteps in the past with a million memories that accompany the life journey of every human being.
“We are either happy or sad when we step foot into life in the world. Used sandals, as a marker of human civilization, are interesting to explore deeper, how humans choose their favorite sandals, colours, shapes, and prices,” he said.
In addition, sandals function as footwear for protection when someone walks and is currently experiencing a shift and today according to him, footwear is not only a protector but also a fashion.
“Both with the intention of protecting the feet and beautifying the appearance of the feet. Sandals today generally become a personal expression that is not always the same for everyone or lifestyle,” he said.
Astawa also explained that the installation art was deliberately placed on the beach to inspire visitors who saw the work made of waste to care about the environment.
“Because we process this garbage, we get it on the beach, so we display it on the beach too. I hope that more young people, especially our village youth, will also care about the environment. Beach visitors can also feel moved by this work and are able to raise awareness of all of us about garbage and reminds us of the Palemahan Hindu philosophy or a good relationship with nature,” said Astawa