Boomerang by Sonam Dolma Brauen (Switzerland)

Boomerang is a large, floor-sized installation created from ammunition shells. The shells, which seem to go on forever, provide the imagery that global military expenses amount to vast sums of money spent on war (more than $1.6 trillion as of 2016). It is no secret that the arms industry very often sells to countries and groups that are at war, and war affects all who are involved. Through Boomerang, I am depicting my belief that what we sow, we shall reap, and that as a general rule the boomerang of armament comes full circle.

Each of the 2,010 ammunition shells in Boomerang is an example of how separate, little things combine to make a whole. If we each do something small to make a difference, those differences will add up and create an expanding wave of change that can create positive outcomes for humanity. For a long time, I was concerned and sad about wars and their results. I had many sleepless nights thinking about how people could make such devices that destroy other people. Using art, I began to deal with these feelings. By collecting ammunition shells, studying them, and creating Boomerang, we have a symbolic visual representation of how the ammunition industry affects humanity.

My artwork expresses my life’s experiences and the hope for a brighter future. As a young child, I fled on foot across the Himalayas with my family from my war-torn country, seeking Peace and safety. Now, as an adult and an artist, I share a message of Peace through abstract art that evokes emotion and tells stories about the World around us.

Peace means that there will be no war in the World, no refugees and no immigrants. There would be no power plays between the wealthy and the poor. Every human being would have the same rights, the same access to health facilities, enough food, and no one would live in poverty. Most importantly, we should all be able to live without fear.

It is important that we realize the necessity of creating a peaceful World for our children and our future. Each of us has the power to avoid war and create Peace. Humans are capable of making choices, and sometimes those choices result in destroying ourselves with our own technology. Art is born of our experiences, our suffering, and our thoughts and feelings. Through artwork, we can share this message so that in some way we can have an impact on those around us and inspire them to make positive changes in the World.