Precious Cargo

Decorated porcelain vessels as a visual representation of the pollution caused by mass global transport.  

In the 17th century, colonial traders began shipping their wares across the oceans. The long, perilous transport increased the value of the products: buyers paid more because these special items travelled far.

It was a delicate balance.

Today that balance has tipped: goods from anywhere in the world are available at low prices. Is this a good thing, or does it demonstrate how careless consumerism has made us? Echoing the past, this installation reminds us of the real cost of shipping to the environment. These delicate vessels depict the world’s biggest cargo ships and have been decorated with the carbon they emit to once again, serve as the carriers of the story of global trade, craftsmanship and value. 

The vases are available for purchase, email studio.semleutscher@gmail.com for prices.

Image by Nicole Marnati, Design Academy Eindhoven