This interview was conducted by Selva Ozelli
The Art Curator at CUHK Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC), KC Wong is a multi-discipline artist, known for his art work made out of recycled sneakers. Tell us about what was the idea/inspiration behind creating art our of recycled sneakers?
I started my artwork creation since 2019 named as ‘RidiculouSneakers’. The soul of the collection is inspired by the upcycling idea, making use of used sneakers and decorating them by recycled materials such as stationeries, wrapping paper, bottle caps, screws and many other things to create a portrait.
As a sneaker lover and a sneaker artist, a what people called ‘sneakerhead’ to a certain extent, I never stop finding a new perspective of sneaker art. “What if I create a ‘Sneakerhead’ in real? How will he/she look like?” – This idea has popped up in my mind years ago.
I am still trying to define ‘Social Status’ through my artwork.
Like yourself, there are many artists around the world who work with recycled materials while producing their art. Does MoCC collaborate with artists other than yourself for exhibitions? Tell us more about this.
I am working as Senior Manager (Creative Service) at the MoCC and handle various design and creative projects. Meanwhile I am also an independent artist to create my own collection like ‘RidiculouSneakers’ that I mentioned earlier.
The MoCC does collaborate with different parties including artists, photographers, NGOs and other organizations. You may find the reference below:
Nowadays, arousing public awareness on climate change requires infusion of art and culture into science. The MoCC and artists work together to make the knowledge of climate change and the message of taking urgent climate action more accessible to the public.
The MoCC gracefully took part in TiredEarth's #Maskuary Campaign to raise awareness of the PPE pollution problem stemming from the pandemic. Sneakers are part of the plastic problem too because they're not recyclable, most of them end up in the trash. Tell us more about your initiatives/exhibits at the MoCC to educate a global audience about plastic pollution to spark positive changes in consumer habits.
Responding to SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
Most of the materials used in my artworks are used or recycled. I am trying to give them a second life and bring a meaningful message about the environment through art.
The MoCC plays a key role in educating the public through exhibitions, forums, and roadshows. I think it’s not only about plastic pollution but all the topics on tackling climate change in our daily life, i.e. reducing carbon emissions, eating greener and saving energy.
2021 has been declared the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development” by the United Nations. Does the MoCC collaborate with the United Nations, the Ministerial Conference to end marine litter and plastic pollution or other plastic pollution related organizations? If so, tell us about it.
The MoCC is always open for collaboration with organizations who share the same vision with us. On the MoCC’s seventh anniversary, we collaborated with a Mexico-based non-profit art and sustainability initiative Xoloplastics to produce a small amount of unique eco-tangram puzzles from recycled marine plastics for a publicity campaign. With a series of social media promotions addressing various United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the campaign aimed to arouse public awareness of the problems of marine plastic pollution and climate change, and to promote a sustainable lifestyle.
Which other climate change topics are you planning exhibitions around?
We are current staging the Decade of Change exhibition which tells different stories under climate change through the lens of photographers around the world. We are planning another themed exhibition on marine pollution to be launched in mid-2022. In Hong Kong, the top ten prevalent types of marine refuse mostly come from plastic pieces and foam plastic fragments. The HKSAR government has recently announced the Waste Blueprint for Hong Kong 2035, which proposed to strive towards achieving waste-free seas by eliminating plastic at source to prevent plastic waste from entering the marine environment. We hope to bring about upcycling artworks from marine plastics to the public to reflect on the possibilities we have to give a hand to saving the marine lives.
Are the MoCC's exhibits physical exhibits or does the MoCC hold virtual exhibits as well?
The MoCC welcomes both physical and virtual visitors as we offer a virtual museum which brings our exhibits to the visitors’ very own devices and allows for pre-visits and post-visits to be carried out to supplement the in-person visits. The virtual museum proved its worth during the covid-19 pandemic, when in-person visits became impossible. We now even offer a virtual guided tour. The MoCC has also launched a virtual carnival, Green Family Fair, aiming to draw people’s attention to the alarming increase of single-use plastic waste during the pandemic. The virtual event offers a virtual exhibition, sustainability information and interactive games on recycling. We welcome you to pay a visit to our online exhibitions at https://www.mocc.cuhk.edu.hk/exhibition/current-exhibition and the Green Family Fair at https://gff.mocc.cuhk.edu.hk.
How can environmental artists reach you if they have an exhibition idea? What is the application process?
We are open to any collaboration idea, please reach out to the MoCC team or me via the following means.
Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com