01 Jul 2020
Green Art: An Integral Piece in Contemporary Art
Daisy Tang

Green Art: An Integral Piece in Contemporary Art


2015 - Raccoon - Lisboa, Portugal - photo by Bordalo II


Life is the origin of creation. Art now is an expression of an attitude of life and a perspective on different things. In today's world, many artists around the world are transforming discarded objects into artworks of creativity and beauty.

More than ever before, everyone realizes the importance of environmental protection, ecological civilization, and sustainable development. Thanks to the active social engagement from all sectors, environmental protection has gradually become a part of everyone's life. The 4R - Reduce, Reuse, Replace, and Recycle - is no longer a little known concept to protect our environment. Together with the sponsorship and promotion from commercial organisations, a more personal experience of the harm of environmental pollution and the urgency of environmental protection are delivered to the public.


2017 - Half Rabbit - Gaia, Portugal - photo by Bordalo II


Owing to this social climate, green art has become a new art form that with exquisite expression and deep artistic shock, inspires humanity and continuously guides our steps and directions towards a path of harmonious lives. Green art has undoubtedly become an important part of contemporary art. Compared with traditional art forms, green art shows another perspective of contemporary art with its novel, unique, practical, and enlightening features.

Creative young artists who are environmentalists have created the green artworks that have attracted much public attention. In their advocacy of environmentalism, the message becomes the most infectious when art is combined with environmental ideas and creativity. Various kinds of green art and “waste art” are blooming, spreading like wildfire. A number of charitable green art exhibitions and “waste art” found in streets have emerged in limitless forms. Even at international exhibitions such as the World's Fair and Expo, green art is showcased repeatedly. While turtle models made from discarded iron pieces call for preservation of marine life, abstract patterns formed by tens of thousands of beverage cans stacking on one another remind us that waste should be recycled and reused.


Portuguese artist Bordalo II, for instance, made good use of discarded objects in streets to create large animal statues. He transformed waste into lifelike animals to garner public attention and raise their awareness on environmental protection.


Portrait of Bordalo II @ Lisbon Studio 2018 - photo by Miguel Portelinha

As someone once said: rubbish is art without an “attitude”. Resources that may seem mundane, useless and even banal to ordinary people are reinvented by artists with their creativity and concepts and made into green artworks. This kind of artwork is not only an artistic, conceptual creation that carries the artist's thought and belief, but also embodies concepts of environmental protection, green, energy saving, low-carbon, quality lifestyle, sustainable development, etc. In their view, people can do much more to coexist in harmony with nature. When the time comes, therefore, it is necessary for artists to responsibly draw people's attention through creative means to the above philosophy and limit daily behavior to shape quality life. Art is life. The true quality life must be based on merits done for nature and others.

Reflecting the wisdom and ingenuity of humanity, an array of green art forms is inspired by nature. As mere admirers, we are delighted by the beauty of green artworks. Yet in this process, our thoughts are also morphing, impacted by the love of nature and the urge for harmonious development. Not only a matter for our generation, the pledge to save the nature also passes on to the next. 


2019 - Lince Iberico  Lisboa, Portugal - photo by Miguel Portelinha

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