This week we recognize the work of artist Tattfoo Tan.
“Responding to issues of health, ecology and climate change, I work across social, cultural, and artistic practices. My unique art making practice focuses on learning and mastering new skills and forms of knowledge, developing effective replicable teaching systems, and inspiring the public to take action. Learn-Practice-Teach.”
NMS—Nature Matching System was developed by Tattfoo as a reminder to consume your daily recommended doses of color. The shades of color displayed at farmers’ markets are more than skin deep, reflecting the inner potential of every fruit and vegetable; intense colors might even be called nature’s nutrition labels. They get many of their colors from phytonutrients, compounds that play key roles in health and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The more colors come together at a meal, the better. Sadly, marketers of junk food apply the same technique used by nature to pollinate seed to their nutrition-deprived product. Color is a device that can do good or be deceptive and ensure the pollination of unhealthy eating habits. The colors shown below are all actual food colors, taken from photographs of various fruits and vegetables. Match your meal to the placemat—it is truly a rainbow connection.
“Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship. is a multifaceted and year-long horticulture and cultivation project that includes social, cultural and artistic practices. By acknowledging the shortage of food on the global scale, we should look at how we eat, what we eat and how we can grow our own food and understand the origin of food and the labor, the politics that are involved in growing these perishable items that we consume that have direct effect on our health and well-being.
“I enrolled myself in various green courses and acquiring certification for my green knowledge, in order to flaunt my new found title in the form of a merit patch on my gray coverall and wear it during events and gardening sessions. I’m intrigued by the certification of knowledge and the power that was bestowed by the agency that gave the certificate. I am partly propelled by the thirst of knowledge and partly to sustain the endurance of going to classes and community service requirements of these courses.”
“S.O.S. Pledge is a unique artwork that is based in a concept, a mission, a promise that carries it message and virtue formless across all medium and platform that suit the budget, aesthetic, size and location of it’s custodian and proudly display in a public area. It has been reborn as a marble mural in a school, a plywood board in a community garden, a handkerchief for portability and even as a temporary tattoo.”
I HEREBY PLEDGE TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES IN MY LIFE. MY ACTIONS WILL BE SMALL, BUT THEIR COLLECTIVE IMPACT WILL BE GREAT. I PROMISE TO CONSUME FRESH AND LOCAL PRODUCE. I PROMISE TO REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, COMPOST, AND CONSERVE ENERGY. I WILL WALK, BIKE OR RIDE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AS MUCH AS I CAN. I WILL SET AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS AS A SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC STEWARD (S.O.S.).
Tattfoo Tan’s practice focuses on issues relating to ecology, sustainability and healthy living. His work is project-based, ephemeral and educational in nature. Tan has exhibited at venues including the Queens Museum of Art, Eugene Lang College at the New School for Liberal Arts, Parsons the New School for Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology, 601 Tully: Center for Engaged Art and Research at Syracuse University, Macalester College, Ballroom Marfa, Creative Time, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Project Row Houses, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Tan has been widely recognized for his artistic contributions and service to the community, and is the proud recipient of a proclamation from The City of New York. In 2010, Tan received the annual Award for Excellence in Design by the Public Design Commission of the City of New York for his design and branding of the Super-Graphic on Bronx River Art Center. He currently serves on the Mayor’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee to support the development of a Comprehensive Cultural Plan and as NYFA’s Artists Advisory Committee. tattfoo.com
Featured Images: ©Tattfoo Tan, Nature Matching System Mural, Port Authority Bus Terminal (2008); Nature Matching System Placemat (2007); Nature Matching System Fruit Labels; S.O.S. Steward Uniform (2009); S.O.S. Pledge at PS971, Brooklyn, New York (2010).
ecoartspace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999
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