'The Sweet Side'. 2023


#08 Valency : Participants : Liv Tsim

About the artwork

Our world is powered by electronics, but its chemical pollution is becoming a new colonialism of our environment.

This speculative design project entitled "The Sweeeet Side", is a candy system operated by humans and bacteria, together creating candy consisting of wasted pure copper by a bioleaching and cooking process. The consumers are encouraged to recycle their e-waste as the new currency, witness the bioleaching and cooking process, and enjoy the tasting experience as a reward. This project aims to raise the possibility of connecting the material flow of the metals from the industrial system and our future food chain, as a sustainable interconnected ecosystem.

If we have the alternative of managing E-waste, future urban mining would go beyond simply handling industrial obsolete left from our digital society, instead, generating a new food resource that humans physically need.

To combat E-waste will be a long journey but you are cordially invited to experience its sweet side. Our world is powered by electronics, but its chemical pollution is becoming contamination in our food chain.

This speculative design project is a sweet system operated by humans and bacteria Acidithiobacillus Ferrooxidans, together creating sweets consisting of wasted pure copper through Bioleaching. The bio-integrated process extracts and purifies the pure copper from the e-waste. It aims to raise the possibility of connecting the material flow of the metals between the industrial system and food chain, as an interconnected ecosystem.

To combat E-waste is a long journey. We can start imagining our sustainable future with a small but sweet bite.

About the participant

Based in Hong Kong and London, Tsim received training in BA Fine Arts and MA Biodesign respectively at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, and Central Saint Martins, University of Arts London. Her artworks were exhibited in London, Hong Kong, Berlin, Brisbane, Sydney, Budapest and Shenzhen.

The core of Tsim’s artistic approach lies in the exploration of the interplay among biotic material, bioethics, collectiveness, and environmental justice. Her work delves into how humans can thoughtfully mediate possible conflicts between different species in the context of a comprehensive ecosystem.

In a physical world defined by interconnected ecosystems, global atmospheric patterns, and shared resource dependence, humans can impossibly consider themselves exceptional from the impacts of the Anthropocene. The imperative for cohesive global activism to confront this issue becomes all the more evident, ensuring a sustainable future for generations ahead.

Her questions have been transformed into dynamic kinetic installations, biomaterial-based sculptures, videos, and performances, all while inviting viewers to partake in co-learning experiences. Employing mixed media techniques, she broadens her narrative approach and cultivates a distinct methodology of self-expression. Previous undertakings had her collaborating harmoniously with media designers, scientists, performers, and general communities, resulting in artworks that thoughtfully manifest collective power and challenge conventional limitations.


Website: Liv Tsim     Instagram: Liv Tsim_