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Van Gogh reimagined in plastic bottles

Van Gogh's famous "Starry Night" has been reproduced on the island of Taiwan using plastic bottles.

Van Gogh’s famous “Starry Night” has been reproduced on the island of Taiwan using plastic bottles. This surprising work, exhibited since the beginning of 2016, aims to raise awareness of the environment for its visitors.

What would the artist think? To observe the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death, Taiwanese company Unison Developing Co. Ltd. came up with the idea of recreating one of the artist’s best-known paintings. Curiously, this reproduction is composed of 4 million plastic bottles, spread over a surface of 53 hectares and open to the public in a park in the outskirts of Keelung city.

A multi-year project on a grand scale

Stars made from plastic to encourage ecological sensitivity… this was artist Wang Cheng-wei’s unusual idea. The sculptor worked for several years to make this large-scale project a reality. Acquiring such a huge number of bottles was not simple, particularly since so many blue bottles – rather rare in Taiwan – were needed.

Once the right quantity of bottles was obtained, thanks to the region’s recycling centers, Wang Cheng-wei placed them on the ground by means of a plastic net.

The art of recycling

Visitors can explore the park to admire the view from several angles. A beautiful walk by day, the spectacle is even more amazing in the evening, when LEDs illuminate the work with a play of light. But it’s not all just a treat for the eyes: the idea is to educate Taiwanese citizens and visitors about recycling, by illustrating how empty bottles can have a second life.

Aisin Yeh, public relations manager for Unison Developing Co. Ltd., explained the company’s objective to the India Express daily newspaper: “We had the idea to combine the theme of environmental protection, via PET bottles, with the landscape by creating a work of art, so visitors can see recycling in a new way.”

To follow through on its ethical message, the park donated one dollar for every ten bottles received to an association helping those suffering from depression, as was the case for Van Gogh.

Journalist : Alexandra Drieghe

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