Japanese artist Sayaka Ganz creates amazing animal sculptures made of salvaged plastic parts. Her breathtaking creations are characterized by an incredible sense of motion and her inspiration is supported by a genuine belief that “If we value our resources we will waste less.”
Driven by a combination of her passion for fitting odd shapes together and a sympathy towards discarded objects, Sayaka Ganz creates her amazing plastic animals from thrift store plastics. Sayaka grew up in Japan and several other different countries, but she was raised under the Japanese philosophy of Shinto. Shinto beliefs are such that all objects and organisms have spirits. The constant need to adjust to a new environment also gave Sayaka a strong desire to fit in and create harmony around her. By creating her stunning animal sculptures she is engaging in a process of reclamation and liberation, which liberates her as an artist.
The work of Sayaka Ganz strongly reminds us of similar artworks created by Dario Tironi and Koji Yoshida and the sculptures made of recycled tires by Yong Ho Ji. However despite the similarities of the “reusing waste materials for art” concept, Sayaka Ganz’s sculptures are characterized be her own unique style and essence. Plastic forks, plastic sunglasses, plastic hangers and other seemingly irrelevant discarded plastics are arranged in a unique way, so as to represent anatomical details.
Sayana Ganz is always collecting plastic objects in her basement. She has 30 plastic bins full of plastic objects, arranged by size and color. Once she has enough of one color she makes a decision for what to make (mostly animals in motion). A bin full of white plastics may lead to a horse sculpture, a bin full of blue plastics could form an aquatic creature, while green plastic naturally become a lizard sculpture. She is very interested in depicting a realistic representation of motion, so she researches different gallops, strides, flight and dive techniques of various species in thorough detail. Prior to creating a sculpture she wants to first understand the motion and the anatomy of the animals.
“This is like a puzzle to me. I make sure that all the objects are properly aligned to maximize the effect of motion, and add, step back, add another, step back, remove a piece, and I keep going until the piece looks completely formed but not overly dense.”
The philosophy behind these magnificent artworks is to alert people into thinking far into the future regarding our ecological footprint.
“I believe the best way for artists to help reduce waste is to show how beautiful these materials can be, and what can be done with these mundane objects and materials. When we think of these things as beautiful, we value them.”
Sayaka Ganz was born in Yokohama, Japan and grew up living in Japan, Brazil, and Hong Kong. Currently she teaches design and drawing courses at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).
Her recent exhibitions include: “Objects and Spirits” – solo exhibition at the Robert E. Wilson Gallery, Huntington University, Huntington, IN, and “Convergence” – solo exhibition in the Visual Arts Gallery, Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. Moreover her work is collected and exhibited in London, Tokyo, Takaoka, Isle of Man, New York, San Francisco, Monterey, Toledo and Fort Wayne.
In case you are wondering how much one of those magnificent pieces of art costs, one of Sayaka Ganz’s sculptures was recently sold in the UK for £7,800 (approximately €9,500€).