To most people, garbage is about as far from art as it gets. To Beijing-based artist Wang Zhiyuan, it is a medium like any other. Some time ago he just started collecting discarded plastic containers from the dumps in and around the Chinese capital. He discovered that it was not difficult to turn these objects into something interesting or beautiful. Explains Zhiyuan, “I discovered that if you bring order to them, you can create beauty”. His impressive and colorful installation ‘Thrown to the Wind’, which he created two years ago, is an 11-meter high tornado entirely consisting of the plastic garbage he has found over the last years.
‘Thrown to the Wind’ is an example of what we would call the ‘Quantity Theory of Design’ — if your design lacks a big idea, just use large amounts of one element to construct it (for instance IKEA boxes, or, in this case, plastic garbage) and it easily looks impressive.