‘Garbage’ is remarkably stunning take on proper waste disposal


Art zine, Sarah Whang, 8 pgs, @anderkaya

Ostensibly a guide to sorting waste (organics, recyclables, and outright trash), Sarah Whang’s Garbage has a stunning aesthetic that completely upstages the zine’s intended function.

As a guide, it’s pretty elementary: a couple general notes on what one can do to reduce waste, illustrations of examples across various categories, and a chart to help the reader track their local municipality’s variations. But the standout feature of the zine is its illustrations. Garbage and recyclables shimmer in Whang’s renderings, each vivid with colour. There are three different guide sheets for organics, recycling, and waste, each one so amazing that they’re frameable. Who knew one could want to hang coloured drawings of chicken bones, band-aids, and wadded up paper towels on your bedroom wall? Well, it’s true. Whang makes each piece of refuse glow like it’s more than alive.

The cover is equally beautiful. On a pale rose background, a face emerges from a banner of flowers, plants, and garbage. The cover is wrapped in a jacket of translucent paper, with the zine’s title Garbage written in thick white cursive across the underlying illustration’s face. I don’t know if this zine will actually help you sort any trash, though it may very well do so. It is nonetheless a wonder to gaze at. Whang is a gifted illustrator, considerate and equipped with an eye for the overlooked.