to create her incredible art, Tiako reuses her old insulin pump
Art amazes, moves, irritates, but also and most importantly, it makes you think, criticize and challenge. This total artistic approach, Tiako Art has adhered to for seven years now. The man who grew up in Madagascar and travels the world is now exhibiting his works in France. A stunning collage of printed circuits that, against a black background, take the form of suspended cities, wildflowers or mythological animals. Behind his sublime creations hides a committed approach. For seven years, Tiako collected diabetes medical equipment. Tiny boxes filled with electronic components which, under the artist’s subtle touch, form to reveal themselves and tell stories of their illness.
“With this collection that I’ve dubbed “Sérendicité”, I really wanted aesthetics to come first and discussions about diabetes just fade into the background. Like anyone living with diabetes, it’s important to live well with this disease, but I also feel it’s important not to make it your identity”, explains the artist. Paris success for Tiako, who was during the exhibition Metamorphosis in Paris at the end of 2022 at Halle des Blanc-Manteau, looking at the curious and curious, attracted by the beauty of his work.
For new people, the collages seem to be created by reusing printed circuits from old computers or smartphones. But only by exchanging ideas with artists do they discover the depth of their work. His works not only highlight the importance of recycling technological equipment, but are also made from the author’s used insulin pump. An opportunity to discuss his diabetes, a disease which he says is still too little known and subject to certain stereotypes.
Create your own recycling channel
For 18 years, Tiako, 33, has lived with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that causes the pancreas to malfunction and requires strict treatment to control insulin levels. Thanks to a small remote-controlled box called an “omnipode”, the artist manages to live a quieter life despite his invisible defects. The material should be replaced every three days.
“Apart from myself, because of my illness, I generate more waste than the average person. I feel a bit guilty personally for choosing this treatment which is certainly more ergonomic and more enjoyable, but creates more waste. Thanks to my work, I found a way to create my own recycling industry.”
For seven years, Tiako has carefully stored all of her “medical waste.” Almost 1,000 boxes in total, but also strips for blood tests, sensors for blood sugar tests, applicators, insulin syringes… Only the needles and batteries have not been reused.
“Sugar Boy” or the embodiment of disease
Thanks to this mountain of plastic, glass and metal, Tiako created his first work on the disease several years ago: Sugar Boy. A human-sized statue. “He represents a man who is straight, imposing and convincing” which is vaguely reminiscent of an Oscar bust. “It took me 4 years to collect all the materials. I want it to consist only of my materials.
A piece of work he wanted to dedicate to the diabetes community for what he thought of his approach. “It was so well received that a woman offered to give me medical equipment she had collected and had not yet sent for recycling. It allowed me to create the final piece from my Serendicity exhibition.
Innovate to facilitate recycling.
“For a long time, I had little or no information about how to recycle my medical equipment”, Tiako regretted. Finally, several years later, the artist discovered the existence of Dastri, an organization that collects connected medical devices from diabetes patients. “It’s great what they do. And I am happy to see them growing and being more present in pharmacies.”
For his tenth birthday, the association even invited the young artist to show off his powerful Sugar Boy in his place. Victory for Tiako and wider recognition of the importance of her work to the diabetes community. At the same time, he was invited by the Ministry of Health to a conference on the issue of diabetes medical equipment recycling.
“Area is being studied to limit the frequency of changing boxes and thereby reduce the amount of waste”, Tiako rejoiced. Refillable boxes or boxes with longevity can change the daily life of patients and reduce the amount of waste to be recycled. Evidence that reflection on the subject does transcend the sector…
To follow Tiako Art’s work and discover her work, head over to her Instagram page here. In the meantime, here is an overview of his works shown in the Métamorphoses exhibition in Paris.