What would you write in a letter to your great-great-great-grandchild?
That is the central question at the heart of a new thought-provoking artwork called Letters to the Future from Vietnam creative agency Ki Saigon. The project serves as a far more thoughtful and productive commentary on the detriments of single-use plastic than the trendy reprimanding of those who opt for plastic straws over their paper counterparts.
Sponsored by the Vietnamese pizza chain Pizza 4P’s to mark their 10th anniversary and bolster their commitment to the environment, Letters to the Future is composed of handwritten notes participants have penned to their future descendants and gathered from all over the world that have then been individually silk-screen printed by hand onto pages made from salvaged plastic.
“The book that lasts a thousand years” was six months in the making as 327 letters were collected from 22 countries over four months, while local recyclers in Vietnam helped to gather plastic bags, styrofoam boxes, bubble wrap, and plastic sheets needed for the base material of the book’s pages. These assorted plastics were then ironed in between Teflon/baking paper to create the pages themselves.
“This book brings together the polar opposites of negative and positive,” writes Ki Saigon on the Letters to the Future project website. “On one hand, it shows optimism, hope, and compassion for the future of the planet. On the other hand, it shows the everlasting detriment of our actions when it comes to single-use plastic.”
The finished product is a tactile plastic scrapbook of different languages, handwriting styles, colors, shapes, and textures, all bound by the duality of single-use plastic. Ki Saigon writes: “Our intention is to make the witnessing of this project a visceral reaction, which is both beautiful and ugly at the same time.”
Ki Saigon encourages the public to be in touch to participate and bring the Letters to the Future exhibition to your community.