Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Panda dung made into sculpture

I delighted to read an article in the LA Times about a sculpture made entirely of Panda dung of Venus De Milo.  The artist, Chinese sculptor Zhu Cheng, used dung in sensitivity to the environment (its biodegradable, right?). She also incorporated a dozen young helpers who weren't afraid to get their hands dirty.  Up next for artist Cheng and her young friends is a full sized sculpture of Michelangelo's David.

Eco sole in snow
 This environmental art reminds me of the Tibetan Buddhists that create beautiful mandala sand painting, which they destroy shortly after completion. They destroy their creations to highlight the temporal nature of things. Many indigenous peoples create such ecologically friendly art. They don't seem to have permanence as a primary aspiration for their artistic endeavours.

At left is my artistic effort with the natural elements.  It is a picture of my footprint in the morning snow.  Like the snow, the print is temporal in nature.  Thanks to digital photography, the image is only electronic. 

As I get nearer to my expiration date on this planet I'm thinking more of how I can leave less waste behind.  This includes everything from plastic bags and Styrofoam cups to used automobiles and electronics.  I shudder to think of the huge pile of waste that I've created living in the USA, with our vast material abundance. As one who has been a reasonably good American consumer, sadly the creation of much trash has been a part of my legacy.

So it is that I can appreciate the creation of art out of Panda bear dung. I'm pleased to report that it also brought the artist $50,000.  Environmental stewardship pays!

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