Republic of Pulau Semakau

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Since 1999, Singapore’s only landfill has occupied a portion of the island of Pulau Semakau. To draw connections between this removed resting place of trash and the daily lives of the people who contribute to it, artist Zinkie Aw took a series of dustbin portraits.

Photo by Zinkie Aw

She calls the series the “Republic of Pulau Semakau” as each depicts a person holding a wastebasket in front of his or her face. In her words: “The things we throw away tell us so much about who we are.”

This whimsical project hits a chord for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that my own interest in trash began as an interest in my local island landfill.

Know how I found out about Zinkie’s work? The everydaytrash.com Facebook page. You, too, can discover neat new things there. Fan the page, and while you’re at it, fan the Republic of Pulau Semakau page, too.

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