Cameron Qiao
Undergraduate, Visual Art Studies

Postcards of Our Changing Environment
mixed media; wood, acrylic paint, and altered found national park postcards

This installation deals with issues of sustainability, consumerism, and national identity. It features two clear acrylic postcard holders nailed into the wall below a sign reading “Postcards 25 ¢”, mimicking souvenir shops. The postcards feature three landscapes in the United States: Yosemite National Park, Waikiki Beach, and the Redwood forests. However, the images of these three natural landscapes are altered with the addition of piles of junk, drawn in with acrylic paint and colored pencil. The type of junk is specific to the landscape’s identity or geographic location. The postcard of Waikiki Beach is cluttered by items associated with farming because Hawaii’s main industry is agriculture. The postcard of the Redwood forest contains electronic waste because Northern California, the home of the Redwoods, is known for its technology industry. Viewers are welcome to interact with the postcard stand. They may also read the ominous fun-facts about the environmental issues of each location on the postcards’ backs. Postcards of Our Changing Environment makes viewers come face-to-face with their environmental impact. Littering America’s iconically diverse landscapes with trash will encourage viewers to think about their national identity and the natural environment that is their home.