An art project made up of one thousand recycled aluminum cans is on display at COPE NY located in the former Pfizer Building at 630 Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn, very typical of visual artist Chin Chih Yang. It may not be obvious that a 32 foot long LED lighted “arrow” is pointing at an abstract human head, part of an installation of artists through December 16, 2016.
Chin Chih, who hails from Taiwan, is quite known for using both crushed and thin strips of aluminum cans to create his art style. One piece that had been shown as part of an event through the Taiwanese American Arts Council, “Pollution Solution” was made up of strips of aluminum cans to create a net and backed by LED lights. He wrote, “Unfortunately, pollution has become an integral part of our lives. We ourselves are the only ones who may be able to come up with a collective solution to this dilemma”. In 2012 Chin Chih presented his interactive performance art piece, “Kill Me or Change”, in front of the Queens Museum. 30,000 aluminum cans were dropped on the artist in an effort to call attention to the effects of over-consumption in modern society.
Aside from the ability to reflect light, Chin Chih sees these aluminum cans as something close to our bodies as an “everyday use”. “It’s very strong, shiny and beautiful material,” said Chin Chih. “But, they are also poisonous to both our bodies and the air around us when recycled.”
On opening night, November 19th, Chin Chih donned an “aluminum cape” as part of his interactive performance. Cans are collected from all over New York City as well as having it known that he does so as people collect for him. Where does he store the tremendous amount of cans? He has a house outside of New York City.