–– Mix-Media Installation by Lauren Huang

Exhibition: Eco-Redefinition
Artist: Lauren Huang
Time: March 11 - 29, 2009
Location: Alameda Museum,
2324 Alameda Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501
Artist Reception: March 15, 2009. 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Do artists create carbon footprints while creating arts?

How many chemical/waste does an artist create in his/her life time career?

Even an artist recycles every single of his practicing sheets, how many paper does an artist need to use (and waste) in his whole life career? Exactly how many paper/canvas need to be wasted and thrown away to turn an artist into a master?

This is an exhibition about using unwanted, unsatisfied and expired materials to create art pieces. The major concept is to find any possible and unusual materials that can be rescued from recycling dump. While artists around the world seeking possible or impossible materials to create their art, how many of them ever think of that their art work might be landed on the ground waiting to be recycled one day? Or, the substances of the art work are just polluting our earth?

"Eco-" is a newly concept to our society, nearly becomes a cutting-edge culture in America. Americans own trees more than any people around the world. Due to we waste too much, we consequently turn ourselves to be aware of reusing and recycling. We were not born with such an awareness, indeed, we learned from the crisis that we made.

Beside sending the used (or waste) recyclable material directly to recycling dumps, spending more money, time and energy to recycle and reuse such a waste, can we artists give a "second life" to these materials before they going straight through this recycling cycle?

Perhaps for many professional artists who are too used to create, waste and throw away, why not also challenging our creative mind to come out some eco-friendly solutions to our environment?

"Tickets To The Heaven" Installation Series. Media: Camel C-note and Packaging Tapes.
"Tickets To The Heaven" Installation Series. Media: Camel C-note and Packaging Tapes.

About the Installation:

"Tickets To The Heaven": Camel Cash, or "C-Note", is a coupon stuck to the back of filtered varieties of Camel cigarettes. It was made to resemble currency and could be exchanged for items from Camel's "Camel Cash catalogue", prizes from a small lighter to a Jukebox. The tobacco company has used this C-Note campaign for Camel Brand cigarettes in the U.S. for decades. The artwork changed many times over the years, and in the past included the face of Joe Camel, the controversial cartoon camel, much in the same way as presidents are featured on American currency.

Unlike most coupons, C-Note doesn't have expiration date. However, the redemption has already expired on March 31, 2007. Each C-Note used to worth 5 US cents and now they are all useless.

Every single piece of C-Note represents one pack of Camel cigarette. There are 20 cigarettes in each pack. I am a non-smoker and have spent more than 6 months to collect these C-Note by posting ads on the Internet asking any Camel fans to send me their unwanted C-Note for this art project.

Facts about cigarette:

  • 1 cigarette end can pollute 40 liter of drinking water.
  • 1 cigarette can produce 2 liter of smoke contains many toxic substances, most of them can cause cancer.
  • There is another thing about cigarettes destroying forests, this is tobacco drying. To dry 300 cigarettes the wood of one tree is needed; A smoker who smokes at least 21 cigarettes in one day destroyes one tree in 14 days.
  • Cigarette ends are the most common cause of fires, almost 25% of all fires are the result of cigarette ends thrown away in the forests.
  • According to the World Health Organization, almost half the world’s children (700 million) are exposed to tobacco smoke by the 1.2 billion adults who smoke.

Can you count how many cigarettes that have burnt and polluted our earth from this entire presentation?

These balls are all made by unsatisfied calligraphy practicing sheets
These balls are all made by unsatisfied calligraphy practicing sheets

"Unspoken Words": My husband and I practice calligraphy to reduce our stress. We both are not good at working with brushes so we have lots of unsatisfied practicing sheets leftover waiting for recycling. These unsatisfied sheets used to be knead and throw into recycling bin. One day, I decided to collect them and make an installation out of them. This series of work also contains a Taiwanese calligrapher master Mei-Chu Chang's unwanted practicing sheets.

These "Ten Suns" were made by unwanted bicycle wheels.
These "Ten Suns" were made by unwanted bicycle wheels.

"Ten Suns": There is an old Chinese myth about ten suns that appeared in turn in the sky. Tired of this routine, the ten suns decided to appear all together one day. The combined heat made the life on the Earth unbearable.

A legendary archer ended up shooting nine of the suns down and left the one that we have today.

In our modern world, we do experience a similar crisis of "Ten Suns" effects -- Global Warming. Do we have our legendary archer to rescue the Earth this time?

About the Artist:

Lauren Huang: Wife of an artist (Bay Area sculptor Feng Jin); mother of two boys; writer who used to write Chinese for living and has published 9 books; Chinese who loves American culture.

Visit website to learn more about this exhibition:


Special Thanks for those who make this installation project happened:

C-note contributors and/or related supporters:

Steve, Jay Iriwn, Suki, Lee Mcauliffe, Lorin Beatty, Kowana Stack, Stevie Reese, Hirata Rei,, James Street, Anne, Geri, Jesse, Tracie Berry, Brian Stapp, Rebeccah, Deborah Dorn, Katie Wick, Ann Book, Brian Cain, James L., Darryl,,, and Brad Krieger.

“Unspoken Word” Series: Special thanks to Calligrapher Mei Chu Chang who contributes his unwanted calligraphy practicing sheets.

A sloppy kiss to my husband and the curator of this exhibition, Feng Jin.



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Comments 8 comments

Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

Great hub! and how very interesting, never thought about some of this.

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 7 years ago from California Author

OMG Jerilee- It's 2:38 am in the morning and you are still on-line? (so do I...). I've not been able to write any hubs for the one month because of this exhibition. It's a lot of work, however, it came out really good, more than what I was expecting.

Thanks for your support!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Awesome! How I wish I could be there to see the installations.

The calligraphy balls brought back an old memory of when I was in college and taking a print media course. On final project presentation day, a fellow student wheeled in a huge green trash can with a snugly fitting lid. When it was her turn to present her project, she took the lid off the can and tipped the can over...thousandsof crumpled pieces of paper, all silk screened with one letter of the alphabet each, poured out onto the floor. Different fonts, different colors, different paper textures. Fortunately for her, our print professor appreciated her sense of humor and unmistakable statement.

Thanks so much for sharing your fascinating work. I hope you enjoy the reception today!

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 7 years ago from California Author

Sally- What a great installation story to share! I think your classmate should be a fine artist.

It is a rainy day today. My reception starts at the afternoon. It was nice getting some comments from the guests who are not be able to attend today. Thanks for dropping by. "Installation" is a type of art that is fun to build and has story to tell later. Publishing the concept of my work seemed to be a great alternative for someone who won't be able to see the actual work personally.

goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

yxhuang- girl why have you been gone so long?! Good luck with the exhibition and I don't smoke and one thing I have done in my career as in my real job is that I work with a ton of paperwork but I tell everyone not to give it to me in the paperform, it must be pdf, or some other computer doc and I'll store it my way, no need to have a million pieces of paper floating around the office.

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines


Glad to see you back in the loop. And I think I know why you were gone for a quite a spell. Congratulations on the exhibition. Installation art is one of my weakest points, but I know great art when I see one! Thanks for sharing :D

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 7 years ago from California Author

Hey Goldentoad, where are most of your hubs? (Only five left and I missed all your work about you and your wife...) I was planning to catch up reading all other hubbers' work after finishing this project.

It was nice working on this exhibition, although I've to battle with my harsh reality the same time. I am happy to see the show is on with a result that better than what I have expected.

In this high-tech age it's nice seeing people changing the habit of using paper. I guess there is a huge room to promote the idea of "think green" in the fine art industry.

Will visit your other hubs soon!

Cris A-

I really admire that everyone is writing but me. Putting together an exhibit is really time consuming work. However, I had a great opening this afternoon. And it's great that I can come back again to share such an experience with everyone. Thanks for visiting my virtual exhibition.

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Beautiful art! Thank you! :)

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