New Delhi: The monstrous plastic is eating away our planet and we, human beings are trapped in plastic. The omnipresence, durable and versatile nature of the plastic is doing more harm than good. To showcase plastic’s captivity and draw public attention towards the plastic menace, an advertisement filmmaker K. K. Ajikumar from Kochi along with musician and guitarist Biju Thomas, have created an art installation made completely out of single-use plastic bottles. Going with the concept, the installation has been titled as ‘The Trap, Trapper, Trapped’.
The installation at Fort Kochi beach in Kerala involves a 25 feet high plastic water bottle made using 1500 single-use plastic water bottles or PET bottles of 1 litre capacity each. The art installation is built in a way that individuals can go inside the bottle and feel trapped and surrounded by plastic. Explaining the art installation, Biju Thomas says,
The idea is to ask people to step into this bottle – ‘The Trap’ to experience how it feels to be trapped from all sides by plastic waste. Each bottle that forms the building block of this installation has been collected as waste from various locations. All the bottles have a model of the helpless man which symbolically represents the suffocation and trauma that will soon surround human life and his struggle to fight his way out. Mirrors are placed on the inner walls of the bottle in a manner that you can view yourself in the midst of the plastic menace.
Along with this, a six feet tall silhouette of a human being has been placed inside the super structure of the art installation to represent how humans are already trapped inside plastic. At once, six people can go inside the art installation and see themselves trapped inside the plastic waste.
What might look like a brilliant piece of art at the moment will sooner or later turn into our reality, owing to our reckless consumption of plastic. This has been proved by the UN Environment that states, around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away.
Considering the amount of plastic waste produced every year, it wasn’t a herculean task for the team to collect the plastic bottles. Talking about when and how the idea was conceived and recalling the time and efforts put in to turn the idea into a reality, Biju Thomas says,
The idea was conceived and conceptualised by Ajikumar in the early 2018 and immediately we requested Cochin Shipyard Ltd to sponsor the project. It took us around five months to collect the bottles, and cut out small human shaped silhouettes that are used inside the bottle. The task was to get similar bottles.
The installation has been put together with the support from the district administration, Suchitwa Mission (Technical Support Group (TSG) in waste management sector, working under the state government) and Changampuzha Smaraka Grandhasala, a library in Ernakulam, at a cost of ₹1.5 lakh.
The art installation that was inaugurated on December 21, 2019 will be on the beach till January 30. To increase public participation, the team has initiated a ‘snap a selfie inside the trap’ contest wherein visitors are asked to click a selfie inside the massive plastic bottle and give it anti-plastic caption. After January 30, the installation will be handed over to anyone interested in displaying it in their region.
Our idea is to tell people about the hazards of plastic and how they can help avoid it – reuse it and if you can’t do that, just refuse plastic, signs off Biju Thomas.