2017, High School, Art
The digital illustration portrays a Chinese girl lifting up her blanket to discover ocean pollution as the real monster under her bed. As a Chinese myself, issues in my country fuel my art. I chose to render my piece digitally to parallel how environmental concerns are as current and pervasive as technology is in our lives. In this piece, China's oceans are, like other countries, polluted by plastic bottles, bags, and tin cans. However, unconventionally, one of the debris is a dead pig, which is inspired by the 2013 incident in Pinghu when 16,000 diseased pig carcasses were disposed illegally into the Huangpu river. Moreover, the pipes discharge red wastewater like the factories in Wenzhou in 2014, intoxicating the river and subsequently acidifying the ocean. Thick algae also flows out of the drawer, similar to the algae-filled coastlines in Qingdao. As a result, these contaminated water sources have endangered locals' lives and depleted fish populations. Unlike the photoshopped advertisements, water pollution cannot be covered and will constantly be revealed. Unlike the imaginary monsters, ocean acidification is a reality. Unlike how we grow out of the monsters under our beds, environmental issues will always persist unless we fix them. By actively participating in local beach cleanups or environmental research and advocacy, we must ensure a healthier and safer future not only for ourselves, but also for our planet.