In my travels around Europe, I have spoken with many people who are concerned about the pollution of the planet. It is a global problem now and each nation must face its own challenges.
I was born in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. We have undergone three decades of industrial expansion in Taiwan so our tiny island has many more problems with pollution than formerly. Perhaps this is why I decided to explore Europe, to see how the great cities are dealing with the issues of the Anthropocene Era, especially since the United Nations Conference on Climate Change that was held in Paris last year.
Many people, including myself, were inspired by the outcome of that conference. I’ve no doubt that the French are extremely proud that L’Accord de Paris was signed within the borders of France. The nations of the world have agreed to keep global warming to below 2° Centigrade. Yes, L’Accord de Paris has given me hope and it has given me inspiration as an artist too.
One idea that has emerged from pondering the global agreement to lower the levels of pollution is to create screen-prints of the automobiles from companies such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi; these cars create high levels of diesel emissions. The cars would be parked under shady green trees, such as the beautiful Linden tree of Germany, or near some other beautiful plants such as the Poppy from Holland or some beautiful French roses. The idea is to show that these natural symbols that lift the heart of the German, the Dutch and the French, are under threat from air pollution.
I would like to develop my ideas further around the themes of nature and pollution, or things of beauty and pollution. I must admit to myself that cars and planes, which are methods of transport and travel, are things of beauty. Airplanes, although they give off large amounts of carbon dioxide that are very damaging to the ozone layer, are the end result of much engineering and research. Even the emotion of yearning is part of the development of vehicles of transport.
My ideas are changing now. I feel that it is important not to blame industrialists and car manufacturers too much. When the airplane was invented it was a gift to humans to be able to fly like a bird and that is still the case. Expensive cars such as the Mercedes-Benz were high-quality autos that were the result of good engineering. What I mean to say is, by developing and manufacturing airplanes and autos, the intention was not to harm but to help.
With these thoughts in mind, I feel that I must stimulate the emotion of yearning in the hearts and minds of the big industrialists. Surely they yearn to be part of new developments just as they have been part of the previous developments. Perhaps I can become a kind of inventor myself … I will draw a futuristic machine and call it the Clean, Green Anti-Pollution Machine. Yes, that’s it; I can look at diagrams of engines and then re-draw them so that their ingenuity is apparent, then add some changes or distortions and call it The Marvelous Anti-Pollution Monster Machine … or … The Transporter.