By Simone Preuss on December 20, 2010

Can a commercial sanitaryware exhibition highlight the issues of recycling, water waste and misguided female beauty standards? In China it can.

All images courtesy of Pondspider.

For many people, seeing the beauty of a waterfall is also connected to the urge to visit the bathroom upon hearing a steady stream of flowing water. Ingenious Chinese artist Shu Yong has combined the two ideas and created a waterfall made out of recycled toilets, sinks and urinals in Foshan, a city of 5.5 million in southern China’s central Guangdong province, about three hours from Hong Kong.

The clever idea was not just a fun event, but was initiated to draw the world’s eyes to Foshan, in China already known as the capital of, well, china. The installation was the highlight of the 16th China International Ceramic & Sanitaryware Fair Foshan, which took place from October 18 to 22, 2010. As we will see, the exhibits get bigger and better from year to year.

The toilet waterfall was a 328-foot x 16-foot-long wall of bathroom ceramics built from about 10,000 recycled toilets, sinks and urinals and took two months to complete. As you can see in the close-up below, all the toilets and urinals were actually connected to a tap so that they could be flushed. And to show the waste of water just one single flush can cause, the installation was also flooded periodically, thus creating a whole waterfall. Reactions ranged from laughter and comments like “cool” and “convenient” to others such as “gross” and “disgusting.”

A spokesman explained about an obvious drawback of the installation: "You can't watch it for too long, though, or you really want to go to the loo." No kidding. We think just looking at the pictures is enough to make us feel the urge. Make sure you check out The Sun’s amazing aerial view of the installation, though, which shows its sheer magnitude.

The toilet wall has become such a popular attraction, drawing people from near and far, that the organizers are now committed to recreating it in a public space as an art installation. To be fair, we need to mention the trade show’s other attraction as well, because looking at the next image, we’re not sure what drew the bigger crowds.

The sculpture is called “Bubble Woman” and was also created by Shu Yong. Keeping abreast of male fantasies, Yong created these porcelain boobs, 6 feet in diameter. Says Yong about the idea behind it: “We often see advertisements for breast enlargements on TV and in the newspapers. A flat chest slowly changes into round and full breasts, like blowing up balloons. This is so interesting.”

A view not shared by all the visitors. Some felt offended or even violently opposed to them, and since then, Yong had to cover them with a giant bra. See for yourself how the artist describes them and what they look like now:

Regardless of whether you see them as offensive or a statement against the societal pressure on women to undergo breast enlargements, they sure are a sight not often to behold — and that's not mentioning their amazing craftsmanship. We’re just glad that we made it this far without any toilet jokes and we, like the organizers of the show, are all flushed with excitement.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

About the author

Simone is a writer and editor at Environmental Graffiti, an innovative green site currently looking for writers! Imagine having your work seen by up to 10 million people every month, writing for one of the Internet’s most trafficked environmental websites and getting paid for it. Whether it is extreme sports, conservation, art or freaky nature that floats your boat, Environmental Graffiti gives you a platform and a voice to share your knowledge, and meet people like you. You control the news, the news does not control you...

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