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Plastic Fish

Lavounie Doan


3-Channel Animation & Digital Collage Installation

Plastic Fish is a digital collage and animation series installation responding to the plastic pollution crisis that affects thousands of innocent marine creatures in the ocean. The installation was set up in a small, intimate space similar to a sushi restaurant with only one seat and a plastic table setting for one. The audience would take a seat and become an actual customer of this restaurant, faced directly to the center projected wall, where the animation took place and saw themselves as the main character; meanwhile, the restaurant's advertising posters also projected on the 2 side walls.

Plastic Fish was made out of hand-drawn and cut-out images from 27 different photos, capturing plastic pollution scenes in different places around the world. The plastic fish itself was a combination of 42 layers, fully used cut-out plastic images. The eyes were the only non-plastic part in its body, representing its imprisoned soul, struggling to survive.

While the 2 digital collages depict the torment that plastic pollution has caused to the marine life, seeking sympathy, the animation, on the other hand, shows it in a different perspective that raises awareness. A restaurant made from plastic waste, people wearing plastic garments, a tank full of plastic bottles, fish with plastic organs, a plastic sushi knife, plate, chopsticks and even plastic food. Plastic has become an everyday thing, we are living with plastic; yes, we 'consume' plastic; we are the plastic fish.

The use of colour also plays an important role in Plastic Fish, where every used colour has a meaning and reason behind it. According to David Webster Lee: "The green of foliage is a symbol of life on our planet, an indicator of life’s productivity" [1]. Indeed, green is the colour of life on earth, whereas blue is the representation of aquatic life. Green, blue and purple are the 3 primary colours used in the series; purple symbolizes poison. 

[1] Lee, David Webster. Nature’s Palette : The Science of Plant Color. University of Chicago Press, 2007.

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