portraits of your trash


Singapore based photographer Aw Zinkie looks to people’s trash to identify them, not their faces.  you can tell a lot about a person by what they throw away and this project harks on that exact fact.  the backdrop to the photos is the environment the person lives or works in, but their faces are covered up by what they consume / dispose of.  she states, “Dustbins are, essentially, a part of one’s personal space, almost akin to a type of ‘identity autopsy’.

what would be in your trash portrait? mine would have Chipotle wrappers.

Zinkie wants to draw attention to where the trash ends up, and that place is called Pulau Semakau.  Pulau Semakau is a small off-shore island near Singapore that was converted in the 1990s to Singapore’s only landfill.  before it became a designated dump, it was once the site of natural mangrove swamps that supported tons of plants and animals.  the spot has remained a popular place for divers to come because of the rich coral that surrounds it.

Zinkie seeks to inform people of where exactly their trash ends up, because most of us around the world don’t have to think about our trash once it’s taken away in the dump trucks.  this is definitely a call for people to try and be more conscious of what they consume, but hopefully it is a call to product manufacturers  – it is seriously time to start thinking about new and different ways of packaging, so that the problems of consumption don’t only fall on us!

all photos belong to aw zinkie – you can view the rest on her website.


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