Alibaba's artwork stunt warns of masks polluting the ocean
The online retailer joined forces with WWF and artist Qiurui Du
Aug 02, 2021
Since the pandemic began, a new threat has emerged to the world's oceans: disposable face masks. A shocking 1.5 billion of them are thought to have ended up in the sea in 2020. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is one of the world's largest sellers of disposable face masks, but in order to highlight the devastation they can cause, it highlighted the danger they pose to sea creatures with plastic pollution with art.
Alibaba teamed up with WWF and Chinese artist Qiurui Du to stage a live performance for Earth Day called "Fading Sea Creatures" in which Du created a jellyfish painting on a canvas made entirely out of disposable masks. The painting was made with hydrochromic paint which disappeared when the mask canvas was submerged in water, but reappeared when it was removed. In the meantime, viewers were shown footage of masks floating in the sea affecting creatures such as jellyfish, turtles and fish.
The campaign was by agency F5 Shanghai, whose regional creative lead Sarah de Joya said that the campaign has been "specifically tailored to startle via an emotional angle."