St Vincent De Paul
Deputy Lord Mayor Jess Miller
Photography: Vlad De Cunha and Hamise Ta-mé
Courtesy of MORI YU Gallery & ArtsPeople
Sydney Festival visitors: 35,000+
Workshop programs: 1,700+
Jurassic Plastic is an art-antidote to the mass-consumption and waste that plagues our society. At once beautiful and disarming, Jurassic Plastic hits us with the reality of our disposable culture at point blank range. By transforming unwanted objects into items of value, Jurassic Plastic hopes to shine a light on our collective consumption and waste, and together, consider the role of plastic in our lives.
Hiroshi Fuji is a Japanese contemporary artist and social activist born in Kagoshima, Japan in 1960. He grew up during the height of Japan’s miraculous economic boom, symbolised by mass consumerism and excess.
Years later, in response to the glut of toys in his own family, he developed a community exchange marketplace operating on a barter economy, named ‘Kaekko’ (Japanese for ‘swapsies’). There have been over 5,000 Kaekko Bazaars since 2000, contributing to the artist’s enormous collection of unwanted plastic toys. These are the toys Fuji transforms into his evocative and captivating artworks.
Jurassic Plastic was devised and created by ArtsPeople in collaboration with Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji. The project was pitched to the Sydney Festival who commissioned a tailored version for their 2018 festival program.
Our roles included:
Curatorial & Programming Services
Production & Project Management
Bilingual (Japanese-English) Artist Liaison
Graphic and Exhibition Design
Workshop Hosting & Staff Management
Audience Engagement Strategies
Talks and Forums
Jurassic Plastic is a participatory contemporary art experience for children, families and adults. In collaboration with the artist, audiences are invited to take part in the recycling and reinvention of discarded toys. It features a large-scale art installation by Hiroshi Fuji, created with his signature Toysaurus sculptures in explosive sprawling plastic landscapes of colour and pattern.
Jurassic Plastic also features interactive spaces where children can explore, play and make:
Plastic Swamp; an expanse of toys where children can wander, rummage and explore
Tinkerspace; a free play space with toys and treasures where children can create their own plastic creations
Atelier; the artist studio where children collaborate with artists. For Sydney Festival, they helped Hiroshi Fuji create 4 new Sydney Toysaurus, as well as collaborate with guest artists; Liane Rossler and Stephen Mushin
Makerspace; the workshop area where children create their own toy sculptures inspired by Hiroshi Fuji’s work and guided by Artist Educators
As well as fun for children, Jurassic Plastic also caters for the kidults through a range of tailored programs:
Up Late; an adults-only event series that features engaging floor talks. For Sydney Festival, Up Late featured Director Wesley Enoch and Hiroshi Fuji, Craig Reucassel, Deputy Lord Major Jess Miller and Stephen Mushin.
UTS Big Thinking Forums: Consuming the World; a forum that featured Hiroshi Fuji and Kathryn Hunyor discussing ideas of waste, consumerism and sustainability through the lens of Jurassic Plastic.