The Environmental Protection Art Projects of Benjamin Von Wong

Photographer Benjamin Von Wong has dedicated his career to creating exceptional images with a strong and committed message. Pushing his creative boundaries, he highlights environmental issues and raises public awareness of the waste we produce and how we can make a difference.

“It’s just straw, said 8 billion people.” This sentence is the engine of his work. Even though plastic straws may seem like a drop of water when you think of the pollution of the seas by plastic bags , it turns out that they are almost impossible to recycle.

His project is called Strawpocalypse, and it was created from 168,000 straws harvested by volunteers in collaboration with Zero Waste Saigon and Starbucks Vietnam in just six months. The artist says he wanted to create something beautiful and unique from an environmental tragedy.

The photographer and his volunteers have washed and separated straws by color to materialize the sea-plastic separation: the green, black and blue straws represent the body of the wave, the white foam, and the yellow sand. 3.3 meters high and extending over nearly 11 meters, the installation is based on a structure made by a decorator, a real skeleton of the work that gives the illusion of a moving sea.

The Plastic Pollution Coalition estimates that more than 500 million plastic straws are used every day only in the United States, while it would be perfectly acceptable to stop providing them in cafes, bars and restaurants. By creating such a large sculptural piece, Von Wong hits the public with the sad reality: a little straw is actually a big problem.

This is not the only project of Von Wong dedicated to environment protection: his previous installations include a waterfall, a tree and a tornado made entirely out of clothing, to underscore the fact how much water is needed to produce a single t-shirt, a series of photos presenting the toxicity of laundry detergents, a series of animations on the topic of recycling electronic gadgets, a performance dedicated to the ocean cleanup and many others.