A DISUSED cement factory is being rebuilt as China’s first art museum specialising in art works relevant to environmental protection in south China’s Guangdong province.
The museum designer, Shu Yong, said the art works to be displayed at the museum included paintings, sculptures, videos, Chinese calligraphy and performance art.
“The art works express the unique understanding of artists about environment problems. They will be more effective than slogans to help improve public awareness of these issues,” he said.
The 6,000 sq metre factory had been a headache for the local government at Heyuan City in Guangdong until Shu suggested it be rebuilt as an art museum.
The factory is located near a lake, which provides drinking water for the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong.
Mayor of Heyuan City Huang Yuzhen said if the government had pulled it down the lake would have been polluted.
“We are glad to provide a place for artists to create works and this way the environment is also protected,” he said.
The conservation cause is becoming a popular theme with Chinese artists as the country pays increasing attention to its environment.
A dance drama, on show in Beijing in November, created great public interest by illustrating the suffering of the Tibetan antelope, an endangered species on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, as it struggles to escape poachers.
Chen Huifen, who wrote and directed the drama, said: “We tried to tell the story from the perspective of Tibetan antelopes and show the audience their feelings.”
She visited the habitat of Tibetan antelope to observe the rare animals.
“It is our responsibility to warn the public of severe and urgent environmental problems with our works,” Shu said.
In another example, Shanghai is to build a 100-metre sculpture wall from waste and eco-friendly materials that features artworks on an environmental theme. – People’s Daily