There are certain habits that can bring to people happiness, for example, drawing a rainbow every day for one year. This is exactly the daily task Dear Plastic has been doing for almost the whole past year. One would easily feel relieved simply by looking at these drawings of her.
Yumi has an art and education background while Taka is a software engineer/designer. Growing up in Ehime Prefecture, an area with a proud paper manufacturing industry, Taka seems to have naturally grown an early liking for paper. After getting known each other in Japan, the duo moved to Australia and started their creative project together. Out of their shared persistence on environmental protection, they founded Dear Plastic, a project to expand their beliefs by teaching adults and children to transform recycled materials into various types of small homewares and decorations. The techniques involved are so easy that even children can handle without difficulties.
In 2011, they set off from Sydney for a round-the-world trip. After trotting the globe for a year, the two returned and settled in Melbourne. Their worldview had changed, but not their devotion to environmental conservation. They painted papers with color gradients using watercolor, before folding them into little boxes. Then they used a metal wire to thread through these little boxes to create a unique kind of hanging decoration. The materials needed are easily accessible, the preparation is also simple without needing any special technique. The two even made a video on how to fold the paper balls. To enjoy the process of handicraft is more substantial than the pursuit of a perfect end product. “Paper is the most readily available material in daily life. We like how it is equally fragile and tough. So we wanted to show both qualities in our work, to change people’s perception of discarded materials.”
The duo believes in Japanese Shinto, which worships the forces of nature and pays respect to everything on earth. Their creative concept has therefore been very minimal and direct — mankind should peacefully coexist with the nature. Their creative project is a means to invite people to rethink what is really necessary and what is redundant in life.