catch-of-the-day at PIF2014

"catch of the day" or "floating polke-dots" is part of pangkor island festival 2014 (PIF2014) bringing art, awareness and action to this small on the west coast of malaysia. the installation is made entirely from waste found on beaches of the island. the artist liina klauss is raising awareness for the problem of marine pollution. "most of the waste comes from residents themselves" liina says, "and this is not a problem that only exists on pangkor: this is a global problem and it has taken on horrifying proportions."

with the help of pangkor residents as well as volunteers from all over asia, liina has been cleaning-up beaches on the island to find materials needed for floating her installation. "we bought nothing to make the art piece" one of the volunteers says,"all is taken from the beach or borrowed by the neighbours!" the process of making art from nothing brings people into direct contact with pollution like marine debris. by collecting found materials, cleaning them, sorting them by colour and transforming them into an installation see, touch and experience a problem physically. as liina says: "what you touch, touches you", meaning that by physically helping to clean-up change is happening not only on the outside, but also on the inside. this said, the art-making process is an integral part of the installation and as important as the result itself. by integrating the local community the residents come in direct contact with the effects of their behaviour and the impact it has on nature, on wildlife and on the community. 

during an artist talk held during her one week stay on pangkor island, liina shared facts about marine pollution and her environmental activism, giving residents a chance to grasp the consequences and global dimensions of marine pollution. liina's art encourages people to deal with problems in a creative and collaborative way. "seeing and recognizing the problem is the first step towards taking action!" liina says. 
(text taken from the press release for PIF2014)

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i went into the ocean today and someone advised me to go see a doctor afterwards. 
but it is the ocean that needs a doctor! 
isn't it time that we care for and heal the ocean from the pollution, the disrespect and ignorance we burden upon it? 
can't you hear the ocean cry? 
the ocean is suffering tremendously and still we keep looking away. 
we need to change our mind-set. now. 

'catch of the day', installation for PIF2014, pangkor island, malaysia

please watch:   www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn408gmFHqM   thank you. 
here is what KiniTV wrote about my art-awareness-activism:

"You dump, I jump" - German artist protests sea pollution KiniTV

Appalled by the sight of floating rubbish around Pulau Pangkor, one of the visiting exhibitors of the Pangkor Festival, German artist Liina Klauss took an impromptu leap into the rubbish-filled water as a gesture of protest.
She said people need to be educated about the importance of environmental conservation.


'floating polka-dots' for PIF2014

pulau pangkor is a tiny island off the west coast of malaysia, a 4h-drive away from kuala lumpur. the island of only 8km² was well known for its beautiful beaches two decades back but has been forgotten since, one reason being the pollution of nature and waters. this pollution is mainly caused by the residents themselves. to change mind-set and behaviour PIF2014 invited me to do an environmental installation at PIF2014. 'floating polka-dots' will be my first ocean-art installation ever - so exciting!

this year's pangkor island festival has a focus on environmental art and education. "By inviting artists to the island, it not only encourages interaction amongst Pangkorians, but also fosters new interaction between locals and artists, thus adding a new dimension to the livelihood of Pangkor communities. Pangkor Island Festival aspires to integrate community culture, history and folklore with local tourism, highlight the best of Pangkor’s unique local delicacies as well as its touristic and scenic attractions. It will be a grand celebration where both Pangkorians and visitors are welcome to join in the fun!" (quote from www.pangkorislandfestival.com)

the land-art installation that i'm planing for PIF is 'floating polka-dots'. from far away it will look like colourful circles floating in the water. coming closer people will notice that these circles are actually made from marine debris. 
photoshop montage for 'floating polka-dots' 2014,  pangkor island, malaysia
i've been working with ocean debris since 2011 using it as medium and color palette. up to now i have been doing land-art installations directly on the beach. 'floating polka-dots' will be the first installation actually situated in the ocean. apart from being new and exciting this is very meaningful to me. all of the waste that i work with has been in the ocean, sometimes for decades. most of this waste is plastic and since plastic never goes away, we have millions of tons of plastic debris accumulating in our oceans (www.coastalcare.org/2009/11/plastic-pollution). with 'floating polka-dots' i'm showing the impact of our human behaviour on the oceans. it is a grave reminder to be sensitive to the waters that surround us and not to pollute.

i'm often asked why i'm doing what i'm doing. in the broadest sense i'm inspired by nature. i love being outdoors, exposed to the elements and surrounded by the beauty of wilderness. the fragrance of a blossom, the force of salty winds from the sea, the joy of fresh green, the calm when the sun goes down, all of these are most valuable moments for me. seeing the left-overs of our consumerist society and its fatal implications in this pristine environment makes me feel ashamed, sick and angry all at the same time. i want to wake up the world and take action right away!
saying that, it's quite a different feeling when i'm on the beach, creating an art piece. i usually don't listen too much to that critical voice. it can make me quite depressed. immersed in the creative process, i see the world the way a child might see it. looking at rubbish this way, i perceive colors and shapes. i see value and potential within these materials: endless possibilities of rearranging them, combining them into new shapes and forms, into stories that no one has heard before, pictures no one has seen before. aren't these discarded objects are a mirror of our society? of our desires, our conveniences,of our selfishness and of our ignorance. 
my art installations give me the chance to hold a mirror in front of our consumerist society so we may see our mistakes and change them. and so we may see the beauty of nature and love, enjoy and preserve it! combining these two aspects by unifying criticism and awareness is what my art is about.

apart from doing a land-art installation (or should i call it ocean-art installation:) i will be sharing my experiences of working with waste within nature on monday night. for details please visit www.pangkorislandfestival.com/系列活動/分享會/sharing-session-linna-klauss/

i'm very much looking forward to the creative process and the collaboration with PIF! let's see what the oceans bring us!