In his latest project to help Tuvalu's fight against climate change, Taiwanese artist Vincent J.F. Huang (???) planted 3,000 mangrove trees last month on the coastline of the South Pacific island country to form a giant QR code that connects to a website highlighting the threats facing Tuvalu's existence.
During a visit to the island country Aug. 25-30, Huang worked with local residents to plant the mangroves on the coast of Funafala in the form of a giant QR code. Funafala is one of Tuvalu's nine islets.
The shape of the QR code covered an area of 225 square meters on the islet, which is inhabited by only five families, he told CNA earlier this week.
By scanning the photo of the QR code, people will be immediately connected to a website that provides information about global climate change and rising sea levels that are threatening Tuvalu's very existence.
"With this innovative project, I want to call more attention around the world to the crisis facing Tuvalu and the impact of global climate change," said Huang, after he returned to Taiwan earlier this year.
Climate change is not only an issue that will affect Tuvalu, but rather "it's an issue faced by everyone," he said. "We in Taiwan are no exception."
Speaking of his third visit to Tuvalu, he said the problem of rising sea levels was very obvious. He saw some areas which used to be dry land have now become part of the coastline.
The Tuvalu government and its people were grateful for his latest endeavor to call the world's attention to the crisis facing the country, Huang said.
"The Tuvalu government hopes that I will continue to carry out similar projects in the country," Huang said.
He said he plans to visit Tuvalu again next year to conduct a new art project that will also include the planting of mangroves on the coastline of the country.
In addition to Tuvalu, Huang said he might expand the mangrove-planting project to other low-lying island countries in the South Pacific, such as Nauru and Kiribati, which are facing similar threats as Tuvalu.
Taking advantage of the global craze over the mobile game Pokemon Go, Huang also carried out a photo project on the coastline of Tuvalu, in which local children wore masks depicting crying Pokemon monsters while participating in the photo shoot.
The crying faces reflected the feelings of these local children, according to Huang. "If you have time to catch virtual Pokemon monsters, why don't you have time to care about these Tuvaluan kids facing the crisis of rising sea levels?" he said of the idea behind of the project.
Concerned about the peril of rising sea levels faced by Tuvalu, Huang visited the country in 2010 and 2012, setting up art installations to draw attention to the crisis. He has since cooperated with Tuvalu on many projects in a continuous effort to call attention to the crisis in the island nation.
In 2013, Huang was commissioned to organize the Tuvaluan pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as the country prepared to participate in the major international art exhibition for the first time.
Prior to that, Huang worked closely with Tuvalu during its participation in an exhibition that was held in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Qatar in late 2012.
His "Animal Delegates," depicting creatures such as penguins and turtles that are likely to be the first victims of global warming, highlighted the environmental crisis in Tuvalu, one of Taiwan's 22 diplomatic allies.
In November 2013, Huang designed an exhibit for the U.N.'s Warsaw Climate Change Conference -- a horse-drawn cart riding the streets of the Polish capital carrying the Wall Street Bull -- to call attention to the crisis facing Tuvalu.
"Creative art projects will not only help draw attention to Tuvalu, but also promote Taiwan's international visibility," he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel