The "Dead Whale" project is based on a true story
And the future's worse than it looks.
(SPOT.ph) "There was an environmental projection that by 2050, if we don't stop polluting our waters, there could be more ocean wastes than marine life," Biboy Royong, Creative Director of Dentsu Jayme Syfu, reveals to SPOT.ph. He leads the creative agency behind the "Dead Whale" project of Greenpeace Philippines, a haunting art installation at Sea Side Beach Resort in Naic, Cavite. It is on display until Sunday, May 14.
Art installation of a "dead whale" in Naic, Cavite
The piece features a replica of a 50-foot whale "killed" after taking in too much waste. “What set the 'Dead Whale' apart is we based its shape, color, texture, size, and proportion on pictures of real beached whales. We even chose to show a decomposing whale so we played more with the textures on its skin using plastic trash we have collected. We wanted to surprise the community in the area. For it to work, we had to carefully craft a realistic dead whale,” explains the artist. A lot of people were even deceived the first time they saw it. It looks real until you lean in closer and find out that it's actually made up of plastic waste.
But the story behind it cannot be any more real. The "Dead Whale" was inspired by the 38-foot juvenile sperm whale washed ashore on Samal Island in Davao del Norte in December 2016. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources later reported that the marine mammal died because of various toxic contents lodged in its stomach—plastic, fish net, hooks, hard wood with nail, rope, and steel wire. Numerous stomach worms just aggravated its premature death.
A dead sperm whale found in Samal, Davao del Norte in 2016
"We really had a project in mind for ocean pollution and it was very timely that Greenpeace also had plans set for the year. We had the opportunity to launch it earlier because it's ocean month," Royong tells us. The installation was completed in just five days with 10 people working on it. They chose the shores of Naic since it is part of Manila Bay, which, as we all know, is now heavily polluted. They group also considered foot traffic and the spot seems to be a perfect location to raise environmental awareness.
"Art makes a better statement. Seeing the dangers that is happening to our environment through a dramatic visualization urges people more to act against it," the creative director asserts. Our world can really use artists like him to remind us to start taking care of our home.