The Artist of our Cover Photo and his Commitment

Benjamin Von Wong, born 1986, is a Canadian artist, activist and photographer, who is best known for his environmental art installations and hyper-realist art style.

He is also an advocate against Ocean Plastics. In 2007, he graduated from Canadian McGill University with a degree in Mining Engineering. Von Wong began his career working as an underground mine planning and design engineer, but he left engineering to pursue a career in the arts in 2012.

When the NGO Nexus wanted to highlight the problem of fast fashion during the summit in December 2018, which took place in Egypt, Benjamin Von Wong and Laura Francois along with a team of volunteers realized the “The World’s Tallest Closet”, to represent “the number of clothes we accumulate over a single lifetime”. The large installation was created entirely with recycled aluminum, steel and wood, and housed around 3,000 items of donated clothing. In less than five days, the entire structure was assembled at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo by a team of volunteers and CanEX Aluminum. “With a vision of building a tangible representation of our personal clothing consumption, the ‘Tallest Closet in the World’ encourages the public to take small steps towards reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill”, the project description says. The clothing used for the creation of the installation was donated to local NGOs supporting refugees; at that time over 220,000 refugees lived in Egypt.

(GR22020, Page 30, Photo: Benjamin Von Wong)