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Stay Alive

Our daily lives jammed with disposable items lead me to start my work. Since the Industrial Revolution, mass production became possible and emission of disposables has also increased. The use of disposable products made our lives more convenient, while the disposables we meet every day are gradually polluting the environment without the awareness. 

At first, I collected plastic cans by separating trashes. The collected cans were beautiful by themselves, but I wanted to enhance the beauty by making jewelries with disassembling and reassembling process. Diamonds, gold, and silver are general materials of jewelry, while disposable cans and plastics are considered inadequate for jewelry. I thought I could create beautiful jewelry out of non-precious materials, even discarded materials. This is the reason why I started working with the disposables, the recycled can. I have expressed the polluted and damaged nature with cans. Storks, polar bears, and endangered plants are the main themes of my work. 

As I continued my work, I realized that it takes a lot of energy to make a single aluminum can and takes about 500 years to decompose completely. I also realized how bad the disposable cans can affect the environmental pollution. Since then, I began to agonize more seriously about what to express with these recycled cans. Not only do they pollute the environment, they cause global-warming phenomenon and increase the temperature of water. As a result, lives of many living creatures are threatened. Corals, for example, bleach due to the pollution, and lose its beautiful colors. I used discarded cans to express their gorgeous colors. I hope both disposable cans and corals, the main culprit and victim of the environmental pollution, could stay alive with us longer than they do now. We  are also victims of the pollution. Throughout COVID-19, we have become more aware of the importance of the environment. The earth-shaking pandemic seems to be the warning sign of nature, against indiscriminate development regardless of the nature. We must make great effort to set the world back to non-polluted state. I will continue to make jewelry with recycled products in a small attempt to protect the environment. 

Eunseok Han

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