Wed, Sep 06, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Tainan-based German making garbage into art

TRASH INTO TREASURE:Artist Axel Schunn says our materialistic lifestyle has made protecting our planet an important issue and he hopes his art inspires others

By Hung Jui-chin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Axel Schunn, a German artist who has settled in Taiwan, stands beside one of his works of art made from discarded objects at his “DiscArt” exhibition at the Yonghua Civic Center in Tainan’s Anping District on Aug. 10.

Photo: Wang Han-ping, Taipei Times

An exhibition of garbage transformed into art by altering its form is being held at Tainan’s Yonghua Cultural Center.

German artist Axel Schunn, who goes by the Chinese name Sun Ho-ping (孫和平), said people in the modern era seek only to satisfy their materialistic wants, which has led directly to the depletion of Earth’s limited resources.

Using discarded tires, iron, CDs, polystyrene, plastic, fishing gear, broken instruments and driftwood, Schunn creates pieces with a sense of humor, hyperbole and surrealism.

Our materialistic lifestyle has made protecting our planet an important issue, Schunn said, adding that while the pieces he crafted came from spontaneous inspiration, he hopes his creative efforts inspire people to become aware of their surroundings.

“We must reflect on the modern pursuit of new items, quality items or simply satisfying the want of items, and realize that there is value in turning trash into treasure,” Schunn said.

Schunn said he has lived in Tainan for 25 years, traveling to Taiwan after meeting his wife in India, where he was learning yoga.

He said that because he often attends beach cleaning events in the city’s Anping (安平) area, “the garbage automatically found me.”

Tainan official Wu Tang-cheng (吳堂成) said the exhibition, titled “DiscArt,” looks at Schunn’s 25 years in Taiwan, and is a reflection of how different cultures interact and have been melded in Schunn’s hands.

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