Sharing on SWAP :)

sustainable art prize 1

Around two months ago, my mother invited me to go to this exhibition with her so she could get inspired for an art piece she was working on that required using waste we found at home. It was definitely an eye-opening experience, because I thought at the time, that sustainable waste, or upcycling projects were not very appealing to the eyes and often featured rusty old tools being hot-glued together as a piece.

Today, I am going to share with you a piece in the Sustainable Waste 2 Art Prize that I was particularly intrigued by and hopefully, will allow you to understand that upcycled art pieces don’t have to be created from scavenging from bins.

The Travel Bug – 8.45 Tonnes of Carbon to Offset By Clara Cheong 

This piece by Cheong uses paper tickets that Sydney’s public transport system were using – thank god we got rid of them for the sake of the environment and switched to using opal cards, and also boarding passes to create this bug that carries them all. Each ticket is a journey made to the creator of this art piece.

Although the colors of the tickets combined gives the bug an attractive outlook and seemingly represents the beauty of being able to travel, the environmental impact behind the travel is detrimental to our earth, as the title suggested. I mean, I used to carry a return train ticket and six TravelTen tickets (as backups) with me everyday to uni. This is an interesting piece to let us realize the veil behind being able to travel around, we also should pay attention to the carbon footprint from traveling, or even things as simple as consuming imported products that reduces CO2 emissions.

So, what do you think of the upcycled piece? Did it change your perspective on how big the scope of upcycling art can be now? 🙂

CL 🙂



  1. Thanks for your sharing!
    These pieces really amazed me given that they are all made of things that we normally throw away. However, I wonder if this kind of art works count as upcycling? As it seems no particular function or value were added on them after the re-design or re-make, this is a bit confusing to me..could you please clarify a bit?
    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Keith, it is indeed a good question – what is considered as value-adding? It is quite relative from people to people. In this case, the value lies in the artistry in how the artists manipulate existing materials and turn them into art pieces, rather than its functionality 🙂 To put it simply, any work that’s done to upgrade paper tickets (trash) to an art piece or even lamp shade (treasure) is upcycling! I hope it answers your question!! CL xx


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