With a focus on sustainability and environmentalism, Stony Brook University’s “Recycling and Reincarnation” exhibition conveys messages of the cyclicality of life and the importance of cooperation in creating a better future.

“The purpose of this exhibition is not to go back. You can’t go back. The purpose of this exhibition is to face the future,” explained Department of Art Chairman John Lutterbie.

The cross-cultural exhibition, which is located in the Zodiac Gathering and Skylight Lobby of the Wang Center is a creative collaboration between Stony Brook University and East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.

The opening reception, which was held on Tuesday, featured a performance by the Stony Brook University Percussion Studio. The quartet strummed cadences on lead pipes, wine bottles, flowerpots and ceramic bowls as guests filtered into the room. Behind the crowd, images of flickering wax candles shaped like people were projected onto a white wall.

Lutterbie remarked how amazing it was to see “pieces of discard producing art and music,” and went on to identify the wonder of visual art as “its ability to make connections between the person creating the art and the person viewing it.”

The exhibition utilized recycled materials and often sought to introduce elements of life into inanimate objects.

In one piece by Lu Kaiquan, a ghostly face peers up from the depths of a toilet bowl. Another piece by Wei Zekai features a robotic Superman made of scrap metal and lights.

In a symbolic reversal of the technological invasion, Hu Bingqing designed a piece in which blades of grass sprout uncontrollably from a computer monitor.

It seems that this will not be the last time Stony Brook will be teaming up with East China Normal University. Hopes for future collaborations were mentioned by Sunita S. Mukhi of Stony Brook and Yu Zhihong, President of East China Normal University.

At the close of the reception, Mukhi stressed the importance of experiencing things in real-life and viewing exhibitions such as this, criticizing the belief that it is more important to worry about the “practical application of a degree.”

The Recycling and Reincarnation exhibition will be running until November 6, and is free and open to the public.