By Jane Albert
Do you ever wonder what happens to old plastic toys when they’re thrown out?
Hiroshi Fuji does, and he was so upset by how much plastic waste there was that he decided to do something about it.
Plastic doesn’t break down – it’s simply buried – so the Japanese sculptor decided to use it to build giant, colourful dinosaurs.
And he needs your help.
Build big, beautiful beasts
Mr Fuji will be in Sydney in January for a free Sydney Festival event, Jurassic Plastic, and wants kids and adults to come to Sydney Town Hall and help him build huge beasts and landscapes.
He’s looking forward to working with and seeing how Australians respond.
“It’s amazing how different children are in the way they react,” he says. “Everyone enjoys themselves, and there is always lots of playing, sorting, making.”
Bye bye, birds
Mr Fuji hasn’t always made dinosaurs from old toys. He used to create birds, but dinosaurs fired up his imagination.
“I actually find dinosaurs really scary,” he says. “I’m also fascinated by the fact they seem like something from our imagination, but they actually existed.”
Future in your hands
Children can build their own mini-sculptures using recycled toys or help Mr Fuji or two other artists build Sydney’s own Toysaurus.
Mr Fuji is inspired by the creative ways children reinvent old toys, but he hopes that while they’re having fun they’ll stop and think about the damaging effect plastic has on the environment.
“We need to think about how the future will look,” he says. “This can be scary to think about – a bit like dinosaurs. But we shouldn’t look away.”
Jurassic Plastic will run from January 6 to 28, but will be closed on Mondays. The program is free but children and adults can book for other workshops which cost $26 plus a booking fee.