The Lake of Truth II
The World’s Biggest Graveyard of Electronics
— the Slum Area of Agbogbloshie, Ghana
In 2009, after the bankruptcy of his own company, MAGO became a street artist.
In June 2017, on his own, he visited Agbogbloshie, a slum in Ghana, the graveyard of world’s-electronic waste. There, MAGO met those who were desperately burning electronics, dumped by advanced nations for a mere $5 a day.
Inhaling volumes of toxic gas, these people develop cancer and die in their thirties.
How can it be so important to form our wealth at the expense of these people?
I want to show this truth to the developed world through the power of art.
MAGO made up his mind
Art made of wastes illegally dumped by advanced nations created by artist MAGO, out of his love for the slums of Ghana
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If a child fell and cried, knees bleeding, you'd give them handkerchief.
True Love Found in the Slums of Ghana
Upon returning to Japan, MAGO created art from scrap material that was even unnecessary in the slum. With the money he raised, he delivered 250 gas masks to prolong their lives during his second visit in November 2017.
“With art, I’m gonna make this slum a better place,” MAGO promised them.
The Promise That Made a Miracle
On March 20th, 2018, at MAGO’s one man show, “Art is About Saving Lives – Visiting the Slum of Ghana” in Ginza, Japan, one Ghana art piece sold for $145,000 (JPY15,000,000).
It’s all about them. This true love,
― it gave MAGO his unique creativity that never dries up.
To Bring Education, Culture, and Economy to the Slum
So far, MAGO has delivered 850 gas masks with the money made from art sales.
In 2018, he started the first school in the slum “MAGO ART AND STUDY”, guaranteed to be free for the next 50 years, as long as MAGO lives.
Today, children learn English, arithmetic, art, social studies, and environmental issues there.
In August 2019, during his fifth visit to Agbogbloshie, he founded the first cultural facility in the slum, “MAGO E–Waste Museum” to bring culture, new jobs, and foster new society,
In the wide open land, MAGO set up a gallery to exhibit 30 pieces of 2D works indoors and 20 pieces of 3D works, 20 giant murals, and one 7m-high “E-Waste Tree” made of recycled PET bottles, as the symbol for peace, titled “Moon Tower”. One hundred percent of the revenue made here goes to the workers.
The media visits this slum as the world’s worst area.
MAGO aims to have this art museum broadcast across the world and to solve this problem as soon as possible.
Hollywood Documentary Film
"Still a Black Star"
No.1 in Crowdfunding History!
With the Emmy Award winning director Kern Konwiser, I am making a documentary film, “Still a Black Star”, which is a recording of this activity.
“I want to share the truth of Ghana with the world. It’s still a black star. I want to make it shine!”
At his solo exhibition in February 2019 in Los Angeles, [Still a Black Star - Sustainable Capitalism], he pleaded with the director. Six months later, MAGO headed to Agbogbloshie with director Kern.
You will be able to see many truths in this work: capitalism, the truth of environmental destruction, true love beyond race, and why art is necessary to the world.
In the meantime, MAGO’s crowd funding for the movie surpassed its target, raising $300,200 (JPY 31,300,000) from 395 supporters, selling 150 artworks, becoming the No. 1 in CAMPFIRE movie’s department history. And now it’s going to be made into a Hollywood movie!
The Formula to Make Both Mankind and the Earth Happy
What is Sustainable Capitalism?
MAGO is active in the arts under the slogan of “Sustainable Capitalism”.
So, what is “Sustainable Capitalism”?
It stands for the sustainable cycle of culture, economy, and social contribution or CSV (Creating Shared Value), sharing values with the local people and developing the economy.
Owning a piece of Ghana artwork reduces waste in the slum, contributes to the economy and enhances culture. It also spreads the message of this issue around the world.
Moreover, if MAGO’s reputation as an artist grows through these activities, the value of the art you purchase may increase significantly. The works he used to sell for $300 in the streets of New York are now traded for $30,000 among collectors.
You are not consuming money through your purchase of art, but simply replacing a part of your asset into art form.
What it means to own Ghana art
Culture “To own art”
Economy “To invest in the value increase of art”
Society “To develop the slum area”
This is the spirit of sustainable capitalism.
MAGO actively embraces economic activities, which used to be a taboo for artists.
A part of the funds acquired through art sales will be invested in the Hollywood movie. With the success of the film, your art rises in value.
It is good for the customer, good for the local people, and good for the planet. Culture, economy, and the environment all work together. This is true sustainability.
With the funds made with art, MAGO wants to give local workers a state-of-the-art recycling plant as a present.
Sustainable Capitalism: Final Chapter
“I want to raise 10 billion yen* through art to give them a present.”
MAGO “By 2030, I want to raise over 10 billion yen and give the people in the slum a state-of-the-art recycling plant as a present.”
If the world comes to know what I do and e–waste no longer reaches the area, what happens to their employment?
Why not maintain this network of waste gathering from all over the world, re–employ the slum’s labor force at the plant, and turn the world’s worst graveyard of e–waste into a pollution-free, sustainable city with the power of art? I must achieve this goal with art!
And if we can establish the factory, my art will definitely get to art museums.
In 50 years, children in the future will look at my art and laugh.
“How wild. Can you believe it? People used to make things from petrol and throw them away as is.” Unless people in the future can laugh at us, nobody will be able to exist on Earth by then.
With the current pace, 10 billion yen could be made in 50 years, but that’s too slow. It must be reached in the next 10 years. Otherwise the Earth’s future will not exist ...
Therefore, the final chapter of the Sustainable Capitalism theory is set to 2030.
It will be impossible for me to create Ghana artworks within the next 10 years because the waste will disappear after a modern recycling plant has been established.
You know they often say, “The price of art goes up the most when the artist dies.”?
My Ghana artworks die in 2030.
The more art I produce, the more they spread over the world.
The plant will be made, and the mountains of e–waste will disappear. Then my art will die and its relative value shall increase.
I create my Ghana artworks to solve these problems.
I am not a problem–posing artist like Banksy.
I am the one and only problem–solving artist.
This is why I’ve made a huge investment in a Hollywood movie: to solve the slum’s social problem.
I want to make this unprecedented gigantic investment to give the slum a recycling plant as a present. To reach for the highest goal, to one day no longer be able to produce Ghana art.
Air Purifier for World Peace
To Paint for World Peace on the Earth as a Canvas
Thank you for reading to the end.
With your understanding, I would like you to take MAGO’s artwork in your own hands.
MAGO’s ultimate goal as an artist is to bring world peace through art. He is really trying to make it happen.
MAGO has set the icon for world peace as the “Full Moon”.
To solve the Ghanaian slum case will build a bridge to future world peace.
Please invest a small portion of your assets into MAGO’s art.
Accumulation of your love connects to the recycling plant construction at the site.
“Without a beautiful world, mankind cannot live life in beauty. Therefore, by means of beauty, art leads us to peace.”