Cave made of 18,000 discarded plastic cups highlights the impact of our waste problem

(Picture: Von Wong)

It’s easy to dismiss one discarded plastic cup as, well, just one discarded plastic cup.

But every bit of plastic waste adds up, taking hundreds of years to decompose and causing harm to our ocean life in the meantime.

To give us a shake and remind us of the true extent of the issue, artist Von Wong gathered volunteers and created Plastikophobia, an immersive art installation made of 18,000 plastic cups collected from food centres in Singapore.

Plastikophobia is a giant cave made entirely of wasted plastic cups. The idea is that people can walk through, take selfies, and enjoy the art, but be left with a simmering worry about the impact of plastic pollution.

Perhaps being presented with thousands of cups will make us rethink using and chucking just that one bit of plastic.

(Picture: Von Wong)

This isn’t the first time Von Wong has tackled the issue of plastic waste.

Back in 2016 he sent mermaids swimming through a sea of bottles, and earlier this year he created an 11 foot wave made of 168,000 straws, inspired by the phrase: ‘It’s just one straw, said 8 billion people.’

To create Plastikophobia, Von Wong, social impact strategist Laura Francois, fabricator Joshua Goh, and a team of volunteers spent just a day and a half collecting used plastic cups.

They spent two long days cleaning those cups, then crafted them into a crystal-like cave with tiny lights for a glow.

Von Wong then captured photos of dancer Jialin Neo moving around the cave and Max Pagel dressed as an underwater diver, to show people the reality of the plastic filling our oceans.

But the cave is best experienced in the flesh. Plastikophobia is on view at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery, Marina Barrage, Singapore, until 18 April, inviting people to explore with its welcoming glow, only for selfie-takers to realise the horror of this mini world once they’re inside.

‘We don’t even think twice about how little sense it makes to use take-out cups within a dine-in setting,’ says Von Wong.

‘Together we can spread this feeling of Plastikophobia and start by saving our world one cup at a time.’

(Picture: Von Wong)
(Picture: Von Wong)
(Picture: Von Wong)
(Picture: Von Wong)
(Picture: Von Wong)

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