‘Reclaimed Creations’ exhibit bringing old plastics new life through art

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Japanese artist is bringing her work to the Duke City with hopes of inspiring others to reuse and recycle. Her “three-dimensional impressionism” is made up of common items, usually just thrown away. Now, it’s debuting at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Many of Sayaka Ganz‘s extensive pieces take months to make. She says they’re all made from reclaimed plastics like forks, spatulas and even traffic cone flashers. She often finds the items either discarded or in thrift stores.

“I specialize in using reclaimed plastic items from people’s homes to make animal forms and I like to try to depict the animals in motion as much as possible to create the sense of movement using the plastic objects as brushstrokes,” said Ganz. “Almost like in impressionist paintings.”

Ganz was raised in Japan. She says she was taught at an early age to respect all things, even inanimate objects.

“I grew up in Japan, and in Japan, we’re taught that things, even inanimate objects, have spirit. Everything in nature and man-made objects have spirit. If you throw something away before they’re ready to go, then they’ll be crying in the trash. At a young age, we’re sort of inspired by this image in our heads, of these things that are potentially, our friends that we can hurt or be kind to,” said Ganz. “It just makes me want to give them a place to fit in and because something is beautiful and alive in our eyes.”

Ganz hopes her work will inspire others to think twice about their potential before throwing them out.

“There’s so much potential in them,” said Ganz. “If we start to value these items more and think of them as something potentially beautiful, then we’ll naturally start to change our behavior and become more environmentally conscious.”

On Friday night, locals will have the opportunity to check out the exhibit early and get a tour through it with Ganz, herself. The event, which will cost $5, runs from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and will include light refreshments.

The Sayaka Ganz – Reclaimed Creations exhibit will be open through May 17. The exhibit is included as a part of museum admission.

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