Indonesia Expat

Exploring Art in Trash

From March to April, Singapore School Secondary students worked on the project ‘Trashion ART’ with Mr. John C. Torr, Head of the Art Department. This project is part of Singapore School Bona Vista’s efforts to increase students’ environmental awareness as part of their Green Programme.

‘TRASHION’ (a combination of ‘Trash’ and ‘Fashion’) is the title given to the Secondary Art & Design assignment, in which students explored how trash could become visual art. This is a response to the motto, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The two most important points in this assignment are that the artwork is three-dimensional and that it is made of at least 75 percent trash.

To achieve these objectives, students, parents and teachers from Singapore School, Bona Vista were invited to contribute their household trash to the production of the artwork. Even though the art room was trashed for three weeks, Mr. Torr and the Secondary students chose not to refuse anything and despite all the rubbishy comments, they surged ahead with no time to waste. With Mr. Torr at the helm and a throng of energised students, armed with glue, tape, screwdrivers, drills and a penchant for dismantling computer keyboards and Barbie dolls, the piles of unsorted trash were caught up in a whirlwind of maniacal activity and transformed into an array of strange, but fascinating art pieces.

The trash had metamorphosed into the winged ‘Trashman’, with cables spilling from his stomach, a collection of square glass boxes displaying discarded objects, according to type and colour, painted chopsticks in wavy lines on decorated board, a Bauble Mask made entirely of discarded jewellery (plus a Barbie head or two), intricate pieces composed of all sorts of interesting items including the Dali sandals (Salvador would have been proud) and Perm ‘O’ Cut (a play on the word computer). The ‘TRASHION’ assignment was a great success in showing how collaboration, some creative thinking and lots of energy can produce very worthwhile results.

Singapore School Bona Vista was selected by Ciputra Artpeneur Museum to participate in the Youth Art Appreciation Exhibition 2015 with six other international schools. The exhibition was held for one week in late April and took place on the rooftop of the Lotte Shopping Avenue Mall in Kuningan.

The inconspicuous act of throwing something away briefly became a subject for study and reflection in this interesting art assignment and although the moment has now passed, its impact continues to resonate. After all, exhibiting trash in one of Jakarta’s more luxurious malls was audacious and at the same time sublime.

The ‘TRASHION’ exhibition is a wonderful example of how passion, hard work, an awareness of current issues and some artistic flair enabled students of Singapore School, Bona Vista to reveal their talents and show us that everything is possible.

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