From May 5 to September 16, 2018, contemporary artists and architects from all over the globe created impressive constructions that were set to appear in the historic city center in Bruges, a city in Belgium. The Bruges Triennial invited these creative geniuses to construct something inspired by the role of liquidity, which is perfect since Bruges is surrounded by waterways. But what did STUDIOKCA, an architecture and design firm from New York do? They had a whale of a time when they contributed a humongous 38-foot tall breaching humpback whale made up of the most common waste to plague oceans worldwide… plastic.They recruited the help of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund in order to do several beach clean-ups. They ended up collecting over 10,000 pounds of plastic from the ocean. The Bruges Whale is known as Skyscraper and it brings to light a serious issue about our environment.
The project was designed to put a spotlight on a serious issue. It seems that cities from all over the world are contributing to the approximate 150 million tons of plastic trash that continues to pile up in the sea, and it has to stop.
As a physical example, it proves that societies across the globe need to figure out how to use and dispose of plastic differently than they are now before every body of water turns into some sort of icky plastic soup.
While the whale itself is made up of plastic, there are steel and aluminum components that were needed in order to complete this work of art. Then they had to hire cranes and tools to transport the parts to Bruges in time to assemble it on location for the event.
The firm felt that a whale coming out of the water was the perfect way to show how serious plastic pollution has become. After all, is there a better way to get people’s attention than by creating an artwork of a whale breaching from the water?
The artwork was a group effort, but even with all hands on deck, it took four months to collect the necessary plastic and to complete the installation. But it makes you wonder how many sea creatures are put at risk of ingesting plastic elements every day.
However, you only have until September 16, so you better hurry because this whale won’t hang around forever. But plastic pollution does seem to linger. In fact, there seems to be more plastic swimming in the ocean than whales. Hopefully, this project will change all that by raising awareness.
**A video of the Skyscraper sculpture’s construction process can be seen here. Take a look at how STUDIOKCA and their volunteers managed to turn tons of plastic into a thought provoking art piece.**