Clay, porcelain, glass. If you are shopping for a new vase, these are the materials that you are most likely to see. But a designer makes a series of vases from a material that we usually put in a drawer or throw away: plastic bags.
Seoul-based designer Jisun Kim makes beautiful translucent vases from plastic bags for Lexus Korea Creative Masters Series, which explores the creative vision behind the craft of various artists. Kim’s project takes plastic bags, which are both ubiquitous and bad for the environment, and reincarnates them into a beautiful piece of home decor.
From prescription pill bottles to disposable, single-use masks plastics take generations to decompose, if they ever really do. We produce approximately 300 million tonnes of plastic per year to create products that, like National Geographic called, often have lifespans of a few minutes.
Kim uses a process that will be familiar to anyone who has ironed clothes before. To make the black and white vases, Kim overlays a flattened plastic bag with a piece of fabric and iron it flat, just as you would iron a delicate piece of fabric. Kim then cuts out the desired vase shape and merges the edges with a hair straightener or flat iron. Kim described the melting sensation of plastic as “giving an emotional sensation as if blood vessels are passing”, talking about the wavy processing of the end product and anthropomorphizing a material which in all other uses is truly destructive to the human experience. .
Kim hopes to raise awareness of single-use plastics through the project, creating works that uncover “new possibilities of plastic bags that are used and thrown away indiscriminately,” according to Lexus Korea. Kim argues that plastic bags are not to be thrown away. If we’re stuck with them, we might as well make something beautiful out of them. Who knew they could be home decor.