Air-Ink, ink made from air pollution


Tiger Air-Ink

In our fast paced world today, we need our cars. Our factories. Our machinery.

But the cost of our unending quest for convenience, innovation and production comes in the form of air-pollution. It’s a concept so easy to grasp in our heads, yet a problem that seems impossible for a commoner to tackle. How does one recycle something intangible and invisible, like air?

One man called Anirudh Sharma took a leap of faith to alleviate the problem, and invented ink created with air-pollution — The Air-Ink.


How Air-Ink is made


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Through a special device called KAALINK attached to vehicles, exhaust fumes are captured; soot is then collected and purified to make multi-purpose carbon black pigment. This can be used to create mediums of all kinds, ranging from markers to screen-printing ink.

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A single 2mm round-tip marker can confine 40 minutes’ worth of air pollution. Since its launch, Air-Ink has harvested over 770 litres of ink – that’s about 2.3 years of carbon emissions from a typical diesel vehicle!


Transforming impurity into beauty


Air-Ink is not just a solution Sharma offered to alleviate air pollution, it also serves as an inspiration for people to take a leap of faith into the art of creation. Daring to take a step forward in doing what others can’t attempt is a novel accomplishment in itself.

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Supporting Sharma’s cause, Tiger Beer launched its global Air-Ink initiative in 2016 in Hong Kong to encourage artists in creating artworks that could impactfully raise awareness about real-world issues like air pollution. These pieces were displayed along the streets, an uncaged territory open to the eyes of every passerby.

Through this initiative, air pollution is put back to where it came from — the streets — not as a toxic substance, but as art. On our sunny island, artists MessyMsXi (Tan Zi Xi) and ANTZ (Anthony Chong) left their marks with Air-Ink on 28 and 29 March 2017.


Art paying homage to the environment


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Work began for Zi Xi on a rainy Tuesday morning, across a 5m long blank canvas placed outside Crate&Barrel, Orchard Gateway @ Emerald. Busy pedestrians crossing the road stopped in their tracks and whipped their cameras out to take pictures of her craft throughout the day.

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After completing her outlines, the artist diluted some Air-Ink with water to shade her work, before adding more details with a finer marker. Her mural was completed the next day in the afternoon.

Zi Xi’s signature illustration style depicts Singapore’s urban landscape cohesively blended into nature. Landmarks like the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade make her work uniquely Singaporean.

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Near Zi Xi’s workstation, graffiti artist Anthony started painting on his 2m canvas at Acid Bar, located along the stretch of peranakan shophouses opposite Orchard Central.

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His work features a realistic tiger juxtaposed against graffiti-inspired illustrations of teh-tarik as well as unique Singaporean landmarks.


Creativity from the streets, for the streets


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Tiger’s initiative shows that art should inspire everyone to think and reflect— not just gallery visitors and art enthusiasts. True to its origins, it believes that the best ideas are born on the streets, and hopefully, it will turn the heads of drivers on the roads to reflect about the sheer impact they’re causing on our environment.

Visit Zi Xi’s work at Crate&Barrel, Orchard Gateway @ Emerald displayed until 3rd April and Anthony’s completed work at Acid Bar.

Tiger beer: A Global Air-Ink™ Project.
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Tiger beer: A Global Air-Ink™ Project.

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This post was brought to you by Tiger Beer.

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