A Giant plastic bottle octopus invades Siem Reap International Airport
Environmental awareness through artJune 15, 2017
Cambodia Airports has launched an initiative to encourage inbound tourists to Cambodia to act responsibly with regard to the environment during their stay in the kingdom. In collaboration with the NGO, The Soulcial Trust and American artist and sculptor, John Kenneth Melvin, the international arrivals hall at Siem Reap International Airport will feature a giant octopus-shaped sculpture made entirely out of plastic bottles. The sculpture will greet inbound travelers alongside an information board with details of how visitors can reduce their impact on the environment while in Cambodia.
The giant sculpture is made out of around 10 000 plastic bottles and measures over 4 metres in all directions. It’s the brainchild of the American artist Melvin who uses his art to influence behavior and attitudes towards the environment. Melvin has teamed up with the NGO the Soulcial Trust, which works locally on environmental initiatives, to impact visitors visually with the sculpture as they arrive in the country. The objective is to encourage visitors to reduce their carbon footprint on the country through various means which are explained on the information panels next to the sculpture in both English and Chinese.
Michael, Director of The Soulcial Trust explains:
We are delighted to partner with Cambodia Airports on this initiative. The airport is the obvious location to create the most impact on visitors to the country. Our “Clean Green Cambodia” eco-workshops we propose to visitors, which we organize with local NGOs in Siem Reap, will help them understand the extent of the plastic pollution problem in Cambodia and teach them how to reuse and recycle paper, plastic and even leaves. It gives them an educational and fun activity during their stay in Siem Reap, which directly benefits the various NGOs involved.
The artist John Kenneth Melvin says:
Consumption has such a huge impact on our culture and environment, if we can curb our use of just one type of plastic, we can make significant improvements to our own lives, and that of others. Once we can start using refillable containers instead of single-use bottles, we can then start to think about other ways to eliminate plastic from our lives. The message for this artwork is simple: who are we, where have we been, and what are we leaving behind?”