Bobby Colvin – A Small Part

Bobby Colvin

A Small Part

Two part untitled,  illustration from Xi’s set, “An Effort Most Futile”.


Tan Zi Xi walks through her immersive piece at Sassoon Docks.
Preface: My name is Bobby Colvin and my portfolio is titled “A Small part”, I will be using a CC BY-NC-ND creative license in this portfolio.

     The environmentally based work of Tan Zi Xi, aka MessyMsxi, spans the ideas of lost and minimal impact ability an individual feels when attempting to fight pollution, climate change, or other global environmental issues. Being commended for its relatability to many groups9*+, and its ability to encourage audiences to think about the idea of coming together if anything truly impactful is to happen.

Xi is producing work that centers around the themes of: environmental  irreversibility and individualism versus society.

     Xi, born in Singapore, graduated a digital artist in 2009 in London. She has won several awards in her times, most notably Most Inspiring Woman in Singapore in 2013 according to Singapore  Women’s Weekly. The selected pieces are from Xi’s series, “An effort Most Futile”, and range in production from 2009-2017. Prompted by Xi’s feeling that “Although I am very concerned and truly wish to help … the Destruction of our Environment occurs on such a large scale, that rescuing it is really beyond me as an individual. This … seeks to enlarge the negative effects we have made and continue to make.”

The final image is of her installation at the Sassoon Docks in Mumbai, India. It is a physical representation of her illustration series that the first two images stem from. It is her second installation of the exhibit and uses 400 kilos of recycled plastic, taken from the Dharavi slums not far from the Museum. Meant to be an immersive piece, it puts people in the place of a fish swimming through one of the ocean’s five main garbage patches. Specifically the famous one in the Pacific, of which the 400 kilos represents only 0.0005% of the real weight.

I think when looking to the society that fostered Xi’s art you can look to her true home, Singapore, due to its obvious impact on her mental upbringing; or to London and Europe as a whole due to its place in her upper-education; or to is placement, Mumbai, a major city in the World’s number one polluting country. Although, personally I see Xi as a global character, and feel her art reflects that. To look at her art through the lens of any one place is to minimize and point blame or pride at one nation for its pollution or lack there of; when all along Messy has pointed at that for impactful changes to be made they must be a global push towards clean up, and stopping, because no one person or people can stop this.


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Bobby Colvin - A Small Part Copyright © by Bobby Colvin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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