Where Pollution Meets Art

Sculptures made out of waste were displayed for the public

KUALA LUMPUR: More Than 30 is a student-led campaign that combats against plastic waste that took place on the 13th of July at GMBB, Kuala Lumpur from 11 am to 5.45 pm.
More Than 30 is part of the movement under Ikigai 3.0. Based on research, there will be more plastic waste in the ocean than the amount of living sea creatures, as claimed by Sean Wong, Head of the Public Relations Team of the event. “What we hope to achieve is to prove that prediction wrong”, said Sean.

A sculpture of an octopus
The sculpture of a whale were one of the main sculptures displayed

During the event, a total of 6 main art sculptures done by the students themselves were seen in the event space. The marine life sculptures were made purely from recycled materials and plastic waste. From turtles and whales to sea horses and jellyfishes, the graphic design students have really outdone themselves by fully utilizing common plastic items that we Malaysians often use.
According to Sean, the idea behind the sculptures and the art exhibition as a whole was suggested by their SOS lecturer, Irwan Marlius. “As graphic design students, we figured it was an excellent idea as an art exhibition would be something closer to our field,” Sean added, “Plus, art and visuals would usually have a stronger impact when it comes to raising awareness in serious issues.”

Videos of removing waste from marine lives were being played

To these students, it was more than just passing an assignment. To them, it was about taking a stand against an overlooked issue in Malaysia. Sean stated that, “We hope that being eco-conscious is too mainstream. Because if it were, we wouldn’t need to do this as people are actually aware and taking action against this issue.”

An environmentalist giving his talk

Other than the intriguing and thought-provoking art sculptures, there were live performances and talks given by environmentalists as well as everyday citizens who share the same passion towards the environment.
One of the many speakers that have attended the event was an inspiring 13-year-old boy who is currently working on a project dedicated to saving the nation’s endangered turtle species – Save Sea Animals From Extinction (SAFE). For two years now, Ahmad Iszudin has been going around schools and bazaars to give talks about the environment and sell eco-friendly products. All funds and donations he has collected through SAFE goes Walai Penyu Conservation Park in Sabah.
“I feel like it’s my duty to rescue these turtles and bring people’s attention towards turtle conservation,” Ahmad said, “The turtles are going extinct and if we don’t do anything about it, we will lose them forever.”

Other collaborators were present to support the campaign

Among the collaborators were the Charisma Movement, an organization that connects students with services of altruism such as Project Penyu. Sabihah Rusman, a representative from the Charisma Movement, commented that initiatives such as the More Than 30 exhibition are more important than people think.
“We can all agree that Malaysians are just so clueless about the environment. Our oceans are dying and it’s about time to really raise awareness on the issue, around youngsters especially”, explained Sabihah.
All the collected funds and donations were directly given to the Charisma Movement and Small Changes, a sister organization of Charisma that is more focused on education in the rural community.

Many came and participated in the talk by the environmentalists

More Than 30 exceeded expectations with about 35 attendees at the launch itself. The event has definitely delivered a strong message that we Malaysians are always taking advantage of the environment and it’s about time that we start giving back to mother nature.

The team behind the event

To find out more about what they did for our nature, visit their instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/iact_ikigai3.0/
This article is written by Joanne Lai & Daniel Tee, Mass Communication students in IACT College.