Waste Matters

The international artist Gayle Chong Kwan, introduced by the art gallery Alberta Pane, is the winner of the Sustainable Art Prize 2019, which was organized by Sustainable Ca’ Foscari in collaboration with ArtVerona. Gayle will develop at Ca’ Foscari the project "Waste Matters" which explores the food waste theme, our relationship with food, the city, our bodies, and the life of waste, through research, online workshops, activities in Venice. Gayle Chong Kwan will work with the Ca’ Foscari community of students and academics, to explore waste not simply as ‘matter out of place’ (Douglas) but rather as inextricably enmeshed ‘throbbing, living, vibrant matter’ (Bennett). The project will photograph, map, and collect food waste, drawing on the traditions of the herbarium, and paper production. The art project is connected to the 12th Goal of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations for the Sustainable Development dedicated to "Responsible consumption and production" that aims to reflect on the value of food waste, while stimulating a debate on the importance of reducing waste in order to lessen our impact on the environment.


One of the objectives of the project is the active involvement of Ca' Foscari students, from the initial organizational stages, with the will to give them the opportunity to put into practice and acquire knowledge in the artistic and organizational field and to make them reflect on the importance of the theme.

The activities will take place from September to November and will be held in english and mainly online, with the possibility of attending in person, following with the evolution of the health situation. Some initiatives will also be open to the public.

For further info please contact us via email  sostenibile@unive.it


Students will be actively involved with practice activities:

  • Online workshops: participation in at least three workshops held by the artist from September to November is expected. The main themes related to the project will be debated which will lead you, together with the artist, to the constitution of the final work.
    • Monday 21 September 15.00h. - project presentation
    • Monday 28 September 15.00h. - mapping and photographic documentation
    • Monday 5 October 10.00h. - activities for the construction of a herbarium
    • Wednesday 28 October 10.00h. - workshop online (due to the worsening of the health situation, it will not be possible to carry out the activity in presence)
    • Monday 16 November 10.00h. - activities for the realization of paper
    • Wednesday 25 November  10.00h. - communal online activities
  • Activities and insights: you can personally participate in the creation of the work, becoming protagonists of the artistic action, through the collection, mapping and cataloguing of food waste recovered in the urban areas of origin, so as to compose a collection following the standards of typical cataloguing of herbaria.  You will therefore have the opportunity to be an active part in the development phase of the artistic idea that will lead to the creation of the work. During the project, there will be an individual study part of the topics covered - connected to the UN 2030 Agenda and to the disciplinary areas of Ca’ Foscari - through reading and viewing the materials (documents, videos, etc.) provided by teachers and researchers, which will be published on the MOODLE platform.
  • Catalogue: a catalogue of the project will be created, that is a report with images and reflections on the issue of food waste, the chapters of which will be created by you students.

The artwork will be exhibited in December. The activity can be part of the Sustainability Competencies. A  certificate of participation will be released to students who will attend at least 3 workshops with the artist.

Gayle Chong Kwan

The london artist Gayle Chong Kwan, introduced by the art gallery Alberta Pane, is the winner of the Sustainable Art Prize 2019


Gayle Chong Kwan has convinced the jury for her solid and visionary poetics that is fully in line with the objectives of the award promoted by Ca’ Foscari. In particular, she impressed the jury because the thematics she deals with in her projects - such as the reuse of food waste and their artistic translation– match with the discussion around the fragile balance that characterizes our contemporary realities. For Gayle Chong Kwan, waste is never an end in itself or decontextualized, but a vibrant and vital question that has its roots in the modus vivendi of our society.

Born in 1974 in Edinburgh, UK. Lives and works in London, UK. Gayle Chong Kwan is a London-based artist, whose large-scale photographic installation, sound, participatory, and video work is exhibited nationally and internationally, both in major galleries and in the public space.

Her work is an ongoing investigation into simulacra and the sublime, which she explores through constructed immersive environments and mise en scenes, created in states of resolution and dissolution between imagined futures, alternative presents, and fictional mechanisms. The personal and global politics of food and tourism is a major focus of Gayle Chong Kwan's practice. Her work is often specific to a context and she explores histories, memory and senses. The artist's pieces take the viewer on a journey across countries and civilizations, exploring the relationship between food and culture, and underlying the importance of waste in giving measure to our lives. Playing with scale and merging the real and the constructed, she has often created large and multi-layered installations, exploring the built environment, strata and waste, as wells as many mythical landscape, created through arrangements foods.

A selection of Gayle Chong Kwan’s recent exhibition includes: Dream Tapestry, a communal tapestry of dreams created during the Covid-19 emergency in partnership with the London Borough of Waltham Forest (2020), Kew-Pamplemousse, online solo show, Alberta Pane Gallery (Paris/Venice) and Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?, online group show, Alberta Pane Gallery (Paris/Venice) in 2020; Capturing Motion, photography residency, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2019), STORMY WEATHER, site-specific installation at Museum Arnhem, Netherlands (2019), Wastescape: Weaving Landscapes of Politics, Dairy, and Waste at Auckland Arts Festival in New Zealand (2019); Quarantine Archipelago, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong (2019); Experiential Ecology, The Edge at Bath University, UK (2019); Preserved, commissioned by Nuit Blanche for the City of Toronto (2018); The People's Forest, William Morris Gallery, London (2018) and Barbican Centre in London (2017); Microclimate commissioned by Invisible Dust (2018) and Anthropo-scene at Bloomberg Space, London (2015). The artist is also developing Waste Matters, a sustainable project in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari University, in Venice, as the winner of the Sustainable Art Prize 2019. Moreover, she won the International Artist Award from the British Council, she took part in the Asia-Pacific Biennial in Berlin, in the 54° Biennale di Venezia and in the 10° Havana Biennial.

Currently studying for a PhD at the Royal College of Art, in London, in her research the artist explores The Poetics and Ethics of Imaginal Travel, through field trips and conversations and collaborations with environmentalists, historians, archivists, philosophers and scientists.

Last update: 15/06/2021