Yong Fei Guan
塑胶狮 Sujiao Shi
On display at CO*LAB 24/7, until March 31, 2022.
Medium: household plastic waste, pvc pipe, screws, nails and wood.
Artwork Description: Sujiao Shi is a pair of Chinese guardian lions seated on plinths. Each is about six feet in height. The male lion leans on a ball; the female lion holds back her cub. Unified in monochromatic pink, the sculptures are animated and playful at first sight. Drawing near, it becomes evident that they are comprised of everyday waste. The artwork consists of hundreds of six-pack rings, plastic toys, and milk jugs. Two mythical beasts grotesquely peer out at the viewers.
Sujiao Shi originates from two disruptive events: On April 4, 2017, the City of Edmonton removed the Chinese guardian lions from Harbin Gate at Edmonton Chinatown for Light Rail Transit construction. Removal of this historical landmark outraged the Edmonton Chinese community. Coincidingly, from January 2018, China stopped accepting globally-imported plastic waste for recycling. This created a garbage crisis across the planet, illuminating a lack of balance. For this project, Guan obtained support from art communities, Chinese-Canadian communities, and municipal communities. This work has been raising public awareness about global plastic pollution in Alberta