Creating energy and harmony from discarded plastic objects, eco-artist Sayaka Ganz constructs graceful and dramatic sculptures of animals in motion that convey a spirit of renewal.
Sayaka Ganz was born in Yokohama, Japan and grew up living in Japan, Brazil, and Hong Kong. Her work reflects her Japanese roots and Asian influences.
“I grew up with [a] Shinto animist belief that all things in the world have spirits. Thus, when I see discarded items on the street or thrift store shelves, I feel a sadness for them and I am moved to make these abandoned objects happy,” she explains.
Ganz says she is always collecting plastic objects - from cutlery to sunglasses and baskets and has something like 60 bins full of color-sorted objects in her basement and in storage. When she has enough of one color, she decides what to make. Right now, she’s interested in depicting animals in motion and she does in-depth research on different gallops, strides, flight and dives of various species as well as referencing photography that helps her understand the movements and the anatomy of the animals.
“One of the important tasks for artists of our time is to bring more of the natural world back into people’s lives, especially in urban areas. When we encounter the true wonders of nature, the beauty we behold transcends our intellects and reaches directly to our hearts.”
Ganz utilizes the reclaimed plastic objects like brush strokes which appear visibly unified at a distance though separate at close proximity. She describes her style as “3D impressionism.”
“I use plastics because of the variety of curvilinear forms and colors available. I manipulate and assemble them together . . . to create an effect similar to a Van Gogh painting in three dimensions.”
Ganz is part of a movement of eco-artists who make a statement about consumer culture by using junk or discard as their medium. Not only does her work prompt the viewer to consider their own ideas about garbage and beauty, it grants new life to condemned material.
“I believe the best way for artists to help reduce waste is to show how beautiful these materials can be, and what can be done with these mundane objects and materials. When we think of these things as beautiful, we value them. If we value our resources, we will waste less.”
SAYAKA GANZ: RECLAIMED CREATIONS, Produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C.
David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director, davidjwagnerllc.com