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Fig 7: Other lamps by the artist - Everyday Life
In addition to garlic skin, Tseng used the skins of vegetables and fruits that share similar properties to create lamp shades, such as corn and physalis, whose yellow and brown skin tones create a warm light. When used as a lamp shade, physalis is also known as Chinese lantern fruit. On one level, Tseng’s designs engage with the special properties of organic skins and rinds: their texture and translucency and natural veins and artificial folds, which soften the light of the electric light bulb. On another level, the lampshades made out of physalis and garlic poetically engage with the idea of “Chinese lantern” and “stinking rose”.
As climate change and global warming form two of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century, contemporary artists and designers are increasingly trying to develop sustainable solutions for all kinds of things including lamp shades. Of this, the garlic lamp by Tsang in which he upcycles food waste is a wonderful example.
Want to read more about farming, food waste and art? Then click below. Or, go to another object in Upcycling Hong Kong.