waste water / 垃圾水

waste water / 垃圾水 (2013). reclaimed bottle caps in drainage. an installation for micro galleries .


two installations for microgalleries in wanchai from 13.-15.12.2013

IT'S HAPPENING! here is a small preview ... come and see the whole installation tonight!

i'm so excited to be part of microgalleries this year! 
there's a whole lot of local and international street art to discover at this event in wanchai and i can't wait myself to see all the works! i'm setting up two site-specific installations (see map) called 'forever and ever and ever' and 'waste water / 垃圾水'. but i won't talk a lot about it here. come and see with your own eyes! for more details and map download click on the link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/182655215270963/?directed_target_id=0
and while you get all excited about it, pick up a bottle cap or two on the way to add to 'waste water / 垃圾水' on hillside terrasse! looking forward to seeing you:)



"I am as much a painter as I am an environmental activist. Being on a beach not only means seeing waste, but also means seeing color. Broken Dreams No.1 consists of 518 broken down pieces, man-made and natural side by side. These pieces are color coordinated and combined to make a bigger whole. It is the conflict between a single piece of waste, perceived as ugly, and the sum of color, perceived as being the opposite, as being beautiful which fascinates me. Logic can not understand this contradiction in perception and value: Is it still waste? When does it start to be beautiful? Is it worthy now? Hasn't it been worthy all along? A lot of questions that need answers … a lot of questions that we have the answer to if we see the bigger picture."

This picture shows details of the print. For whole image see blog entry 'broken dreams no.1' 

"Broken Dreams No.1", 2013
Dimensions: 40 x 40 cm (image size) 60 x 80 cm (paper size)
Medium: numbered pigment print in a limited edition of 20
hand-signed with original chop, unframed 

$280.00 USD
Price does not include shipping costs. 
Printed on heavy, archival Hahnemühle bamboo paper (290gsm) with pigment inks that produce vivid color with strong precision and detail. The inks are both water & UV resistant.

Purchasing Info:  50% of net proceeds from the sale of these prints will be donated to Plastic Free Seas (http://plasticfreeseas.org) as part of projectvortex.org

If interested please email liinaklauss@gmail.com


broken dreams no.1

"Arranged. We were gathering small pieces of plastic on a beach in Hong Kong for a really brilliant artist, Liina Klauss. We sorted plastic by color and then she picked out the pieces that she will integrate into her work. I was overwhelmed by the activity in many ways; I've become somewhat desensitized to seeing plastic on beaches because it's so much of what I witness in my work. But this was different, all of the sudden we had made an order to it, classifying the plastic by color, and seeing it there, in a taxonimic, bastard rainbow, assaulted my senses, filling me with an immense woe. I was compelled to write my feelings down at the beach. I felt powerless; I felt that all my victories on policy were not doing anything, ultimately - and I've been the driving force in a lot of victories. This reaction nowadays is rare for me. My life is going to exotic places and looking at garbage, so why all of the sudden so sensitive again? It felt like I was looking at a transmogrified version of aesthetic order. It's this very feeling - the bearing witness to sensual data filtered through the laws of natural aesthetic law and plastic's incongruent position therein, which compelled me to quit my job and fight to keep it out of the environment as my life's purpose. Now, several years later, I'm often mired by the politics and pettiness, and the inadequacy of industry response, the nature humans to schism and factionalize in social and environmental movements that often fills my day, working on this issue. I thank Liina for returning me to the purity of the moment I once had on a beach in Oregon many years ago now. This experience invigorates and confirms that the steps I take on this path to relieve our oceans of this plight, footprint by footprint will form a path, a path towards solving this horrible issue. I have become erudite on the science of this subject out of necessity; but my soul is that of an artist, and it's this vantage that affects the life choices I make. Witnessing another human's intuition and ability to portray this internal struggle I have, who is ultimately a stranger (I just met her) makes me feel that I'm not alone. And common purpose and camaraderie are really the only things that give humanity the courage to fight for what's right."

Words by the surfer, sailor, writer, eco-nerd, ocean lover, plastic pollustion fighter Stiv Wilson from 5gyres.org, who I was so honored to meet during the Plastic Free Seas Youth Conference 2013 www.plasticfreeseas.org and during curating a beach, where he was inspired to write the above. Thank you Stiv! I feel so humbled by your words.


chinese landscape 垃圾山水 for kids ocean day 2013

i was honored to be invited to kids ocean day 2013, organized by ocean recovery alliance in hong kong (www.oceanrecov.org). it was a highly energetic and busy day, with over 800 children and 200 volunteers participating to form a picture of a shark with the words 'respect' and 'ocean' on repulse bay beach. here is a time-lapse of the day: http://youtu.be/9NcGovm_4y0. those children who found time to come by my waste mandala were fascinated, appalled, eager to help and keen to ask questions. here are some of the things they said: "who put this toothbrush on the beach?" "this looks so precious!" "can i add my plastic wrapper?" "i don't want to touch the rubbish" "can i touch?" "beautiful!" "so much waste!" it was a wonderful day of exchanging ideas, passions and creativity. thanks to everyone who put their effort, time, colour and heart in!


show me your waste and i tell you who you are

someone came by and asked me: what is this?
i said it's an installation made from waste, an art piece.
oh, i thought it's a cultural symbol of some sort.
well, actually yes. it is a symbol of our throw-away society, isn't it?
oh (pause). can i take a picture?

it is strange how people still distance themselves from this reality. as if it has nothing to do with them, as if they are not part of it. our interconnectedness is so obvious. i can feel it, i touch it, i see it whenever i'm doing these installations. show me your waste and i tell you who you are! out in nature, exposed to the elements and to our left-overs, i can see our thoughtless habits, desires and human consciousness clearly. more clearly than ever before.


the making of 'chinese landscape' / '垃圾山水'

'Chinese Landscape - 垃圾山水' is a beautiful yet sad portrait of our society as a whole and an unfiltered commentary of our behavior. It can be read in two ways: as a semi-scientific commentary, showing the status-quo and raising awareness of the human impact on the environment. And secondly as a poetic and beautiful picture which tells a story through the accumulation of hundreds of seemingly arbitrary objects, a story of each and every one of us and as a collective of the times we live in.


back home

coming back after two months
the flowers have dried up in the vase
their beauty is still apparent
waiting for me to look closely 
it feels good to be home


encyclopedic works: a system of colours

squares of colour
which i paint earnestly, patiently, repeated
one of top of each other
colour coordinates in an intuitive grid

spontaneous at first
then more and more conscious
of the interdependance, the correlations and effects 
each colour has upon the other

constructs, towers, bridges
as if playing with building blocks 
different hues, tones and textures

my attempt to sort the infinite 


forever and ever and ever

'forever and ever and ever' is the manipulation of nature: i intricately carve plant leaves, cutting out single words or sentences. then i place the plant into a public space. the pain through cutting and the wounding is obvious as the plant is still alive and rooted in soil. the fragility of the plant contrasts with the sleek cityscape of concrete and steel, its presence with equanimity and hasty passersby, its vulnerability with man-made perfection. the beauty of this 'plantart' is too delicate to touch and too fleeting to preserve. it is a direct reference to the ephermerality of life, to the circles of life, which our modern day society so efficiently ignores.


portraits of consumerism

'portraits of consumerism' started out with my urge to draw. to draw whenever possible. wherever possible. the only tool i need is a pen. scaps of paper can be found everywhere.
for example payment receipts. i never seem to run out of them. small pieces of paper of different sizes, various content and lengths. witnesses of my life as a consumer. these payment receipts tell part of my story. maybe more than i want. 
the paper of these receipts is very smooth. thermal paper. it doesn't get printed on with ink.  thermal paper gets imprinted with heat. over time, the letters and imprints will fade until the paper is plain white again. until the act of consumption is no longer visible. only the black lines of my pen will remain.
i keep searching. my black pen tracing some of the facts on these receipts. tracing, drawing, looking for myself. usually i draw my face. lines about wanting, about manipulation, about behaviour and awareness, about cause and effect, about my actions and my reaction. lots of little traces that add up to a bigger picture.



the beach is my canvas

waste is my paint

with these bright colours

i’m painting a portrait
of each and every one of us
i’m afraid it is not a beautiful one


rubbish - colours - awareness

I’m proud to be part of  “Midsummer Groove” on 21st of June on Lower Cheung Sha beach this year! 
I will be doing another landart project called “Chinese landscape 垃圾山水” made entirely from waste, found objects and natural materials found on this prestigious beach. It will be in the shape of a colour wheel this time and I will be there from 9am until sundown. Please join in at any time to add your own colour!

In the morning I will assist children from Lantau International School and Pui O Public School to create this “Chinese landscape 垃圾山水. I believe by working directly with the left-overs of our consumerist society the children will gain a new point of view of their own consumerist habits. 

From 3pm onwards there will be dance and choir performances, games, homemade food and stalls and of course a lucky draw with amazing prizes! Join us on fb for more info http://www.facebook.com/events/133243596869447/ 

All money raised on “Midsummer Groove” will be donated to three worthy local charities: 
HK Shark Foundation (http://hksharkfoundation.org)
Plastic Free Seas (http://www.plasticfreeseas.org) and 
Lantau Buffalo Association (http://lantaubuffalo.wordpress.com).

Looking very much forward to seeing you there!


what you touch touches you

'pretty' seems to be the one big excuse of our consumerist society. it looks 'pretty' so it can't be bad, can it? the moral compass stops right there at the surface. let it be the wrapper of a candy, the design of a flip-flop, the colour of a lip stick... no one seems to ask where it comes from, how toxic the production is, who manufactures it, where the waste goes... hundreds of questions no one is able to answer, and only very few are actually asking. all of this ignorance in the name of 'pretty'. we are aesteticizing morals, keeping them on the surface. any questions that look deeper are consistently ignored. what are we doing??! 
as an artist i'm also aestheticizing. i'm aestheticizing rubbish. it's a language people do understand. but the message is not a pretty one: we're all in this together - doers as well as victims. isn't it time for us, the doers to at least be aware of our deeds? 


chinese landscape / 垃圾山水

this is the first installation from trash i did in 2011. i was camping with my family on a secluded beach on south lantau when i noticed the trash that's been washed up and caught up in the undergrowth. coming from a background of a painter i started sorting the trash by colours and putting it into the shape of a colour wheel.

and this is how big the installation gets in 2013!

in anticipation of earth day 2013 environmental activist tracey read (www.plasticfreeseas.org) and me join forces to do the biggest installation everi call these outdoor installations "chinese landscape" or "垃圾山水" (trash mountain water): the reality of chinese nature as it is at this point in time. the landscape is still as beautiful as on any ancient ink drawing, but there is a new element: 垃圾 = trash.
for earth day 2013 my concept is to cover the whole beach with trash, sort it by colour and lay it out like a rainbow. in 6 hours tracey, me and around 50 volunteers bring to light the volume of 85 big rubbish bags full of trash, not including two refrigerators, half a boat, a government rubbish bin, construction pipes and ropes for shipping... and sadly that's only a fraction of the garbage on this beach. 

the most important message i want to convey with my "chinese landscape/垃圾山水" is to open your eyes to the massive problems of hong kong's excessive consumerist society. and at the same time i want you to see the beauty of hong kong's nature.  the best and most direct way to experience this is to volunteer at a "chinese landscape/垃圾山水". you get in physical contact with the left-overs of our consumerist society and you get to spend the whole day in the magnificent outdoors of hong kong. this is a much deeper experience than to just grasping it on an intellectual level. 
when people look at my photographs they usually perceive them as being beautiful and pleasing. only later comes the recognition that the colours are actually made up from lots of different pieces of trash.and that's hopefully the moment we start thinking about our consumerist habits, our life styles, our relationship to nature.

apple daily tv has done a report: please watch if you got two minutes (and understand chinese:)


'time being' - a short tour

thank you. thanks to everyone who came yesterday and shared this special moment with me: it was the first time that i filled an entire gallery with my soul, and the first time in hongkong to actually say: hello here i am! 
this is a short video for all those who couldn't make it to my exhibition. 
thanks especially to kate and abid who are running the beautiful timeandspace.hk gallery. a big thank you also to lillian and betsy from winenthingshk.com for the sparkly and the perfect service. and thanks without words to my husband who gives me the inner and outer space to persue the art that is in my heart. and to my chilrden who try their best to do the same.


'time being'

'Time Being'

Time & Space presents Time Being, the first solo exhibition of German artist Liina Klauss opening on April 17 and running through to April 24.

Concerned with the visualization of time and influenced by Berlin street art, Klauss uses derelict paper and yellowing book pages as a canvas for her mixed media pieces. Through layers of slowly fading colours and ink on paper she creates a direct experience of the transience and impermanence of life.

For Klauss, the medium is as important as the painting itself: yellowed pages of an art encyclopedia make up the historical context with drawings and hues of colour representing the vibrant present. The artist combines water colours and ink with natural hand mixed paints and pigments such as clay or vegetable dyes.

Klauss intuitively uses shades of colours that are sensitively stacked into imaginary columns and correlations. This constructed network of colours and tones fade into the colour of the paper itself, leaving nothing but the subtlest trace.

As Klauss puts it: 'I'm expecting a certain sensitivity from the viewer. Even though I'm making the artwork, I'm doing nothing but pointing towards a reality that the viewer has to see and feel and experience within him or herself. Art is happening as much on the paper as it is happening through and within the viewer.'