About this exhibition

Concerned about the un-settling truth of waste pollution in the world’s ocean and beaches, Barker collected waste debris from over 30 beaches in Hong Kong between 2012 and 2015. She then separated the marine plastic she found into different categories relating to the traditions and material cultural of Hong Kong such as manufactured toys, retail items, household waste and even hazardous medical objects. Barker then worked in her studio to compose vivid photographs by overlaying images of the waste materials collected.

Barker purposefully uses the contradictory, aesthetic quality of these manipulated images to encourage visitors to look closer and through this engagement consider their own social responsibility. A key aim of the project is to raise local and global awareness of environmental issues around waste management.

“The impact of oceanic waste is an area I have documented for more than 8 years and am committed to pursuing through visual interpretation. In collaboration with scientists I am hoping it will ultimately lead to positive action in tackling this increasing environmental problem which is of current global concern”. – Mandy Barker

Every day in Hong Kong over 1,826 tonnes of municipal plastic waste goes into landfill, the photographs that make up Hong Kong Soup: 1826 represent a selection of the debris which escapes recycling or landfill and ends up in the sea and washed up on beaches. ‘Soup’ is a term used widely in Hong Kong to describe this plastic debris suspended in the sea.

Hong Kong Soup: 1826 has received global recognition, and has been published in over 40 countries and publications including: TIME; The Guardian; VICE; The Financial Times; Smithsonian; National Geographic; The New Scientist; ARTE; EI Pais; De Standard; Wired; Wallpaper; Fotografi Magazine and the British Journal of Photography.

As well as featuring selected photographs from Hong Kong Soup: 1826, this exhibition features sketchbook and research materials specific to Barker’s time in Hong Kong.