Dorothy & Clementine
Spray paint on CANvas - 2019 - Framed - 60cmx88cm
Can Can Collection
Szabotage has encountered a complicated reality as a prolific aerosol painter: it is challenging to safely dispose of spray can material once relieved of its paint. European Union legislation classifies aerosol paint as a Class 2 ‘dangerous good,’ and the hazardous nature of paint cans requires special disposal. The life cycle of this creative medium therefore presents unique scenarios not encountered in other methods of artmaking.
Artists in Hong Kong may not recycle empty aerosol materials through usual public channels. Szabotage discovered there is no legitimate and sustainable way to recycle spray cans without registering as a chemical waste producer and privately contracting the removal of cans. As an artist continuously consuming aerosol cans, Szabotage set out to creatively solve the problem of leftover spray cans. Through disassembling and objectifying the spray can, turning the medium into the object, the artist resolves the dilemma of aerosol can consumption and continues the positive life of the entire creative artifact.
Szabotage is inspired by playful use of language and exploring meanings of the word ‘can’. Furthermore, Ron Arad’s avante-garde industrial furniture designs from the 1980’s informs the work. He explains:
“I like to think the can and its process has unleashed my humour, and I have looked for ways to explore the humour and the coincidence of the use of the word ‘can’! I can! Can vas! We can! Tin man can! Can Can! [I take] a fun and light-hearted approach where the subject is informed by the can...
The ‘Can Can’ collection takes on a new personality for my work and becomes very sexy and witty, as well as a hard piece of industrial-looking furniture for interiors. In a way it reminds me of Ron Arad– the early days of welding the found objects together to make cool furniture.”
The physical process of creatively repurposing spray cans requires a remarkably steady hand and clear mind whilst forcibly opening the pressurized metal containers. The artist punctures the aerosol can with a nail to release any remaining paint. He then slices open the side of the can with a knife, and harvests the ball bearing, top rim, and plastic stem, which are also used in his artmaking. After this precarious work, the can is hammered flat and may be formed into a desired shape. He may then drill holes and rivet the metal. This labour-intensive process has been repeated hundreds of times to give new life to this once-problematic material.
Both spray paint on CANvas - 2019 - 40cmx31cm
Opening cans of possibility!
I Can & Open Your Dreams