Arun Kumar Indian elephant in cement and graphite

ArunKumar: the thousand nuances of recycling

Let’s think about disposable: could we ever come up with the idea of building a sculpture out of objects we use and throw away every day? Well, the Indian artist ArunKumar has somehow commented on climate change from his own special perspective.


In response to these, he tried his hand at creating spectacular artworks, aiming to recycle and reprocess waste, such as “Droppings and The Dam”, a sculpture right by the sea, along the Danish coast.

Droppings And The Dam 2015 Arunkumar – Along the Danish coast

Graduated from Boroda University, working as a toy manufacturer, he decided to devote his time to art. He shows the huge amount of waste produced by our lifestyle and symbolizes the harmful effects of disposable materials on our environment.
Indeed, the artist is known to recycle and reprocess industrial waste, from plastic to wood. FYI for the completion and realization of this work, about 70,000 bottle caps were used, collected from different cities around the world.
All colored and carefully overlapping each other, woven with the use of steel wires to tie them vertically.

We talked about reusing plastic by wandering through Thomas Dambo‘s Plastic Forest. And here we are, still witnessing an art form, which has recycling as its central focus.

The visual purpose of this work is to make the viewer visualize what happens when we throw away a simple bottle of water, and how much garbage we produce every day.
The sculpture embraces us like a wave and engages the viewer into a sort of dance, with an invitation to be more empathetic with nature.

Sculptures like toys?

Some of Kumar’s works are similar to games, created in plastic or hay, still lifes to be precise (in fact nature is alive by definition, but it becomes dead when it is taken away from its habitat), which express the concept of Earth and everything that is part of it.

All this is an emblem in favor of the ecosystem while commenting on all that is not sustainable, but recycling plastic can have a strong emotional impact.

ArunKumar has created real sculptures of human beings out of pieces of discarded wood. The reference is to mankind; a criticism of those who have destroyed the environment and abused the earth’s resources.

A cardboard box that becomes art?

Well yes, his approach to reuse doesn’t stop there. Collecting and storing cardboard boxes, the artist creates a paper pulp that he then turns into elephants.

Within, Without. Materials 2018 – Arunkumar

The body is modeled on the elephant statues found in temples. Given its ethics, the reference is clearly towards the destruction of the habitats of these animals.

Arun Kumar’s sculptures and prints map the troubled relationship between nature and humans.
In recent years, Arunkumar has built a knowledge and conservation center on the ecology of the Western Ghati. SARA is a center run by the community and some artists, located in the village of Dombekoppa, India. The aim is to raise people’ awareness about the practices to be followed every day, to live a sustainable life.

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