This Pollution Globe is the Perfect Gift for Beijing Smog Lovers

By Susanna Ott, December 20, 2017

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Beijing-based T-shirt brand Plastered 8, which previously treated us to their cheeky best-selling product 'Canned Beijing Air,' has a brand new ironic item for sale.

A great Christmas gift for those who miss their capital's smoggy air (who doesn't?), the Beijing Pollution Globe is the perfect remedy for homesick Beijingers. Shake it up to bring back fresh memories of airpocalypses and PM2.5.

Watch the hilarious promotional video below (VPN off):

Outside of China? Watch on Youtube here.

We talked to Plastered 8 founder Dominic Johnson-Hill about his company's latest buzzed-about product.

After your irreverent idea to sell Canned Beijing Air, you've developed another product that pokes fun at the capital's smog. Your bold ideas seem to center around that issue. What's your daily struggle like with Beijing's air?
I think the pollution globe is a fantastic celebration of daily life in Beijing.

To be honest I don't really struggle with the Beijing air. I have been here 25 years and it's never been something that’s really upset me hugely. It's just part of my life. Maybe I've got Stockholm Syndrome!

So tell us, why the CCTV Headquarters inside the globe? Is it loaded criticism or is it just a piece of art that you take home and get out whenever you miss Beijing?
I love using the CCTV Tower. I have used it in artwork before and it's a beautiful building and kind of powerful. It represents the government, television and propaganda. 

I think it's very representative of Beijing because it is a very male city in its feeling. The CCTV Tower feels very male and strong and sort of quite rigid and ugly in many ways. We usually take iconic things from Beijing and the CCTV Tower is one of them, so it was very obvious to use.

The idea behind the product was to celebrate another part of our life in Beijing and that part of life is pollution. At Plastered 8 we like to poke fun at serious things, we like to poke fun at Beijing and we like to celebrate Beijing. 

Plastered 8's Pollution Snowglobe
Shake it up to bring back fresh memories of airpocalypses and PM2.5

The 3D base of your globe is the result of a collaboration with famed artist (and 'Invisible Man') Liu Bolin. Who did you work with to get the grey dust inside to look so realistic?
We've worked with Liu Bolin for about five years now, though in the meantime he is based out of New York. He did a fantastic job of designing the base and the tower itself using his signature pop style.

The dust however, was hard to find. We worked with a lot of factories, trying to find the right pollution feel. None of the factories that we called had ever done grey dust before. But we met one very entrepreneurial young guy who promised us grey dust and he delivered.

In fact, as we see the pollution getting better over the years we might see the dust inside those globes getting ever slightly lesser and lesser to fit in with the market demand. 

Your Pollution Globe came out just in time for Christmas and is one of the most sought after gifts of the season. What can we expect from you guys for the coming year? 
That the pollution globe came out just for Christmas was luck. We have been working on that product for a whole year and it just happened to be ready for Christmas. 

The video that we made for the pollution globe was extremely popular online, so we saw our globes sell out in just a matter of days. We have more globes on the way, but they're hand painted so it takes a while before they arrive (which won't be until the end of December). But at the end of the day it is the perfect little gift to have on your mantelpiece.

More importantly, it's a conversation piece, so if you have awkward guests around and got nothing to talk about, pull out the globe and the long winter evenings will just fly by.

Canned Beijing Air
Previously: Canned Beijing Air

Will I [create more] pollution products? Quite possibly if I can think of one. But we have lots of projects in the pipeline of course, because that's what we do at Plastered. We create shit. A lot of our ideas fail and every now and then something sticks. Like Canned Beijing Air and the Beijing Pollution Globe.

Beijing is the drive for your brand’s products. Is your brand forever Beijing-bound, or can you imagine expanding your brand to other Chinese cities?
We are a Beijing brand and right now we are only in Beijing, which is enough because it's a big city. I never had really big ambitions to conquer the world because I like having a small business. 

So we will carry on with what we do well, which is Beijing. I think that it's good to have niche. And to just do at what you are good at. And I am pretty good at Beijing. I really enjoy this niche I have and I like creating things. 

It's been a great year for us! I am very fortunate that I am doing something that I truly love.

READ MORE: Plastered 8's Greatest Hits

Dominic Johnson-Hill
Dominic Johnson-Hill

'The Pollution Globe' can be purchased here. Visit Plastered's website here

Images and video courtesy of Plastered 8. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

See listings for Plastered 8

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