Speech by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and the Environment, at the launch of the Art of Trash Competition Exhibition on 9 March 2023
H.E. Mário Miranda Duarte, Ambassador of the Portuguese Republic to Singapore
Mr Adrian Tan, Managing Director, Ad Planet Group
Ladies and Gentlemen
Boys and girls,
Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you at the opening of The Art of Trash Competition Exhibition this morning.
2 This exhibition is a very meaningful initiative because it uses art to promote awareness and conversations about climate change and the global waste problem. With the existential threat of climate change exacerbated by a growing consumer culture, we need to rally our community to adopt sustainable practices and reduce our impact on the environment.
3 Many stakeholders have come together to make this exhibition possible. Let me name a few:
a First, the exhibition is a continuation of the partnership with Artur Bordalo from the successful Trash-Sure campaign last year. I hope you will make time to visit his 7-metre-tall Sumatran Tiger that is still at the Gardens by the Bay.
b Second, the Art of Trash Competition was open to a diverse group of participants from all walks of life., from students to individuals with special needs, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Education and the Enabling Village.
c Third, the National Library Board will move the exhibition to the Ang Mo Kio Public Library from 16 March to 13 April 2023, so that more people can see the wonderful works by our artists.
4 Art has the power to move us, to inspire us, and make us think deeper about important issues that face us. Here are some examples from over 190 participants:
a Coral Calamity by primary school student Naomi Chu uses plastic containers to highlight the devastating impact of coral bleaching due to global warming. Thank you, Naomi, for your work.
b STOP by Lizzy Homersham uses trash to create a stop sign, as an urgent call for us to reflect on the impact of our carbon footprint on our future generations. Thank you, Lizzy, for your work.
c Project SHERO by Tan Siew Ling and Shannon Yip, and a very interesting name, “I am stuffed with wasted food.”, by Allan Cai tell us what marine fishes and even the waste bin would say about the waste we generate if they could talk. Thank you for giving them a voice and for letting us hear what they want to say.
5 These projects demonstrate the power of art in driving positive change. Through their creativity and imagination, our local artists have communicated important environmental issues in an accessible and impactful way. I would like to thank everyone who took part in this exhibition.
6 We can each do our part too. I hope that visitors of this exhibition can appreciate that as individuals, we too have the power to make a difference, just as our artists have, through adopting and promoting sustainable habits in our everyday lives. For example, stopping the use of disposables, bringing your own water bottle, and setting the air conditioner temperature to 25 degrees Celsius if you need to use it. Our collective individual actions will be key in staving off the effects of climate change and ensuring a green Singapore for all.