Chin Chih Yang sees that pollution has become a pervasive part of our lives. Political leaders demonstrated in Copenhagen their refusal to take decisive action for the environment. They performed concern instead of actualizing it, believing change might occur with a simple snap of the fingers, like 1-2-3. As a result of this shortsightedness, the onus falls upon citizen artists to develop a collective solution.
His large-scale 123PollutionSolution 2010 project transforms thousands of used aluminum cans into a colorful landscape with its varied topography. Yang collected discarded cans found in New York City trash cans left by students and parents from a local School. Ubiquitous concavities and hills, slopes and peaks, the installation features cans bunched into various abstract and geometric shapes. The structure represents an otherworldly utopia constructed out of salvaged waste.
This imaginary alien village provides shelter to humans seeking refuge from the earth's pollution. The work satirically draws attention to the refuse generated everyday by the seemingly benign act of consuming a beverage or pre-packaged food product. It also points to the investment in re-building that true change requires. Lights will illuminate the sea of cans and video projections will cement his commentary on conspicuous consumption.
In 123PollutionSolution, Yang addresses society’s efforts to protect itself both physically and psychologically from environmental catastrophe. Consumerism can be defined as the tendency towards buying products or services especially associated with status brands or expensive items. Our world is permeated with consumerist or market culture. It is a status symbolism that signals social standing and socio-economic place creating in many instances a cultural hegemony. This type of culture is more prone to endanger the environment because of its addiction to consumerism. We are exceeding our global production capacities depleting by taking from countries with lower consumerism to feed the ones with higher capacities in this area. In order to reduce environmental pollution we must first address and combat the problem of consumerism.